Sunday, 31 January 2016

Jake's birthday card

Hello!  No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I have just had a bit of a dry spell in the stamp room.  I've done some knitting, and reading, and some Bible art journalling, but not a lot of stamping.  However, when a special boy turns 10, I had to get inky!

I used the My Favorite Things combination set of letters and cutting die (Vanity License Plate) to make the focal panel.  It's stamped in Deep Lagoon Fluid Chalk Ink and I added the top and bottom words with some snap-together letter stamps. I also edged the license plate with some coordinating Copic marker (BG97 I think) I inked it with versamark (should have heat set first - it smudged - grr) and embossed with several layers of ultra think embossing enamel (UTEE).  It's very shiny and looks like a brand new license plate.  The various accent layers are from the Wander collection (BasicGrey) and all the papers are edged in Memories Art Print Brown. I used my corner rounding punch (small) to round the edges of the main panel to go with the rounded edges of the license plate.  The card base is Crushed Curry (Stampin' Up).  I felt the card needed an accent of some sort, so I fussy-cut some little cars and a bus from a scrap of paper and popped them up, and brushed them with clear Wink of Stella.  I don't think it made the card too girly for Jake.

It was fun to get back into the stamp room.  I will have to clean it up and get back there more regularly.  I felt a bit rusty making this and I miss my ink and rubber! I think what it is is that my job has gotten very interesting in the last year and I have been really engaged and interested there, which has meant that I am more tired when I get home and needing less to "fill up" my "contentedness reservoir" with stamping.  Not a bad reason, I suppose!  It's nice to feel like I enjoy my job.

The other thing that happened in our household that has taken priority in a good way is this little fellow.  Introducing Finnegan!  He's a shih tzu-cocker spaniel mix and we got him on Labour Day weekend when he was 11 months old.  He's a full-time cutie and part-time criminal mastermind, specializing in aerial acrobatics and petty thievery. He has stolen all our hearts and we can't imagine how we ever got by without him. This is a picture of him from the fall, when he really loved roaring around the backyard and jumping in and out of leaf piles.  He would do big laps and sail off the top step of the deck (top of three shallow steps, don't worry) into an enormous pile of maple leaves.


Thursday, 5 March 2015

Sympathy Card

Hello!  A friend asked me to make a sympathy card, and this is the result.  The main panel is sponged with Distress Inks (Scattered Straw,Victorian Velvet, Seedless Preserves, Chipped Sapphire and a tiny bit of Black Soot) on very smooth cream cardstock.  Next, I misted a pretty damask background stamp (Hero Arts) with with water and "stamped" it on the distress ink.  It gives a very pretty, subtle effect, and the more ink you have applied, the more striking the effect is.  I heat set the panel before embossing, and stamped the flower (Penny Black) in black pigment ink and embossed it in black.  Where possible, I like to use the same colour of ink to stamp as emboss in case there are any gaps in the embossing powder.  Of course with semi-opaque and translucent powders you can use other colours for interesting effects too...but that will be a project for another day!  I added a few impressions of the same flower in Chipped Sapphire as well as a border stamp (Stampers Anonymous - Tim Holtz) on the bottom in Wild Honey.  The card base is Naturals Ivory (Stampin' Up) and the accent strips are two shades of purple (an eggplant, and Stampin' Up's Rich Razzleberry).  The eggplant strip has the same damask print stamp used with Hero Arts shadow ink in Raspberry Jam.  I like these inks for stamping on dark cardstock because they are semi-opaque, like chalk inks, and you see the colour interactions.  A pinkish dye ink would get lost on the dark purple, but the Shadow inks sit on top and add a luminosity to the paper that appeals to me.  To finish it off, I added three dots of Adirondack Liquid Pearls in Eggplant.  They went disastrously wrong so the whole effort had to be peeled off the card base and applied to a new card base and more care and attention applied to the squeezing and placing of the dots.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Birthday butterflies

Hello!  It's been a while - sorry for the absence.  I have been quilting lately more than stamping and I've also been knitting up a storm.  I've discovered the tremendous pleasures of knitting socks, and the even greater pleasure of wearing them.

Here is a card I made recently for a birthday celebration this week.  It's an Artful Stamper image, stamped and embossed in gold.  There is a bit Art Institute Glitter in the embossing powder, which gives it an extra twinkle.  Not too much, but just enough.  The butterflies are coloured with Tombows and blended with a paintbrush.  I've accented with Stickles (speaking of - there are new colours coming out!  so exciting!). The image is matted on brushed gold (should have used my perfect layers tool - doh!) and elegant eggplant.  The blue accent strip is one that was lying on my desk, waiting for this card to be created.  The card base is a 5 1/2" square in cherry cobbler.  The accent dots are Stream Adirondack liquid pearls.  I've placed the leaf so that it will be guaranteed to fold in a card (doh!) or require an enormously oversized card. These are things that could be avoided with some advance planning, but I don't stamp that way.  I normally just pick a stamp, and start there, building the card as I go.  I tend not to have a final "vision" in mind.  How about you?  How do you approach designing your cards?

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Snowy scene Christmas card

Hello!  Here's a card I made last night when my mother came over for a stamping evening.  I had been experimenting with this stamp (Hero Arts) with different ink and paper combinations, trying a lot of different blues, mostly in chalk inks.  I settled on this one, in Blackbird Colorbox Fluid Chalk, stamped on Whisper White (Stampin' Up) and matted on silver mirror cardstock. I added a sentiment (Cornish Heritage Farms), embossed in silver. The card base is Basic Black, with a Brushed Silver accent strip.  There are some of the stars accented with Diamond stickles, but when I make this again, I will use Stardust.  Diamond has a hint of gold that isn't quite right here.

I know it's early to be thinking about Christmas cards, but I usually make them in batches over the summer holiday and I didn't this year, so I am feeling behind.  This card is a good candidate for a big batch - quick and easy but great results.  The secret here is to use a stamping mat to get a good impression.  Also, Sauron the Scanner is pointing out to me that the card would also benefit from a stamp positioner.  I don't often bother, but for a big batch, it would probably be worth it for the sentiment.

Can you believe it's September already?  I had a great vacation this summer and I hope you did too.  What are your plans for Christmas cards this year?  Do you send them?  Do you make them?

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Magazine giveaway

Hello!  I have gone through some of my stamping magazines and would like to make room for future new ones. Would anyone local like to give them a new home?  If you'd like them and you're not local, you'd need to be willing to pay shipping (or for me to visit and bring them with me!).  They are mostly Scrap and Stamp Arts, a few Stampers' Sampler/Take Ten and a couple of Paper Crafts.  Leave me a comment and let me know if you would like an armload of stamping magazines!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Thank you teacher #4

Hello! Happy Canada Day!  Here's another thank you card for teachers.  I started with a sheet of paper that some time ago I had spritzed and sprayed with Dylusions ink in shades of pink and red.  Quite often I make extra when I have my spray station in operation.  (My spray station is the top of the deep freeze in the furnace room, so it can't be a permanent fixture.) I also like to mop up the extra colour with scrap paper and keep it on hand for future projects.

Once I had selected my Dylusion-y paper, I chose this wonderful negative image poppy stamp from Hero Arts.  I stamped it in Blackbird fluid chalk ink (Colorbox) because I wanted a very juicy ink, but also the detail of a dye rather than a pigment.  I also didn't want to emboss it in this case.  I trimmed it out, mounted it on some black then spent quite a bit of time auditioning card bases for it.  This is the part I always find trickiest, because some papers wash out the vibrant colours and neutrals can be too stark a contrast.  I often find that Japanese tsumugi paper is the answer, as it seems to be richly coloured enough to balance out the intensity of the Dylusions.  This card base is a lovely warm smoked paprika colour.  (I got mixed packs of notecards at my local art store - Wallacks, but if you can't source it in your local store, check out The Japanese Paper Place - they have links to retail locations and on-line sellers too.)  To finish off the card, I added a few dots of Black Diamond stickles to the poppies with centres showing.

Do you have any plans for Canada Day?  I will be making strawberry jam (how is that patriotic?  it's red and makes use of the wonderful berries that are at their peak locally) and watching World Cup soccer.  And quilting.  Fun day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 30 June 2014

Thank you teachers #3

Hello!  Here's another thank you card I made, using the same techniques described in this post.  I really like the shimmery Lumiere paint with the wooden stamps (green accent strip).  I learned this watercolor technique on the On-line watercolour class I took recently and tried it with the Stampin' Up watercolor wonder crayons.  Easy and fun!  The trick is to wait until the adjacent areas are dry so you don't get too much "running".  Also, use minimal layering of colour as the crayons are more opaque than regular watercolour paints and you can cover up some of the subtlety you might be trying to get.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you get a chance to do some stamping/painting today.