Monday, January 23, 2017

sending sunshine....

Hello my fabulous friends, and happy Monday!

It stopped raining at my house! The sun is shining and the sky is blue!!
(don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good rainstorm.. it's just a nice change to see the sun once in a while!)

Today I'm playing along with Altenew's January challenge

I'll be honest, this one was a challenge for me... working with yellows and deep reddish brown is not my usual color palette... However, that's what makes it a challenge... doing something different than you might normally do. I love that about challenges. I get to experiment and stretch and I often find I like the end result!

Ink: Distress Ink Antique Linen, VersaFine Onyx Black,  Zig Clean Color Bright Yellow (052), Light Brown (061), Mid Green (046), Olive Green (043), Brown (060), Dark Brown (062)

Step 1: Stamp images on Bristol paper using Antique Linen Distress ink. I ended up doing a bunch of different images and masking to get a nice full bunch of flowers and leaves.

Step 2: Color the images. I used Zig Clean Color for this. I've noticed that they don't always stay true to their original color when water is added. Always test first! The reddish flowers are actually at the Brown (060) marker, but when you add water to blend, it turns into a reddish-pinkish-brown.

Now to add a little subtle dimension...

Step 3: Lightly trace the shape you want your window to be with a pencil. (I used an oval frame die fast my template.) Make sure multiple points of the image go beyond the traced shape, as that is what will keep the whole panel together.

Step 4: Use a sharp exacto knife to cut out the white space inside the traced window shape. You really need to use a shape knife for this! Also, it helps reduce tearing if you start from the inside and work out... meaning, start cutting out the inner most areas first, and move out towards the edge of your shape.

Step 5: Attach foam tape to the back of the panel and the flowers, and adhere to your card front. I chose to use the same Bristol paper behind the window for a more subtle look, but you could do a contrasting color for a real pop! 

I think the sentiment from Altenew's Oriental Orchids is perfect for today... 
"Sending you sunshine and smiles"

I hope you have a wonderful week!!



Friday, January 20, 2017

birthday surprise...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Today's project is a bright birthday card with a fun hidden gift card pocket...

Stamps: Unity Sabrina
Ink: VersaFine Onyx Black; Zig Clean Color Pink (025), Green Gray (093), Gray Brown (094), Turquoise Green (042), Light Gray (091), Bright Yellow (052), Light Brown (061), Flesh Color (071), Pale Pink (028), Oatmeal (064), Purple (082), Light Violet (081), Violet (080), Mustard (067)
Dies:  Pretty Pink Posh Peekaboo Windows

Step 1: Stamp and color your image. 
I used Zig Clean Color markers on Bristol paper. 

I know who this card will go to, so I went with bright happy colors.

Step 2: Die cut the long window die under the image. I use a centering ruler to make sure it is centered, however that is my perfectionism shining through...
(sorry, no picture of this step)

Step 3: Add a sentiment on the window tab you just cut.  If you have a stamp positioning tool, it is a lot easier to get your rubber stamps lined up perfectly. I love using my MISTI for this.  (Just remember when using cling rubber stamps to remove the foam insert inside the MISTI so the lid can close without stress.) When placement needs to be perfect (like on the tab) I like to test stamp by inking up my stamp and stamping it on a piece of clear acetate that is placed over the card. This way I can see exactly where the stamp will hit and how it will look on the card without commitment until I'm satisfied. 

Step 4:  Trace your gift card on the back of the front panel.

Step 5: Create a 'case' around where the card will sit using foam tape. I like to leave a little wiggle room so the card will come out easily. 

Step 6: Remove the backing from the tape and attach to the front of your card.

You can now slip a gift card in and push the tab back in. 

It's a great way to gift a little extra surprise with your card. Anyone would love getting a card like this!



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

painting on a rainy day...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Yesterday was very wet and rainy, and sweet little Ava needed a quiet day to recover from surgery so I spent some quality time with my stamps and markers. 

Step 1: Stamp your image. When I do no line watercolor, I like to stamp my images in Antique Linen Distress ink. I find that it is just dark enough to see when coloring, but disappears nicely in the end. Here I am using Bristol paper because I like how the Clean Color markers work on it. 

Step 2: Add a some of your lightest color into the areas you want the darkest shadows (in this case, where petals overlap and where the petal is folded over). I have found that unless you are working with a large area within the image, a little goes a long way. I'm using  Clean Color Light Brown (061)  which turns in to a yellow color with water...

Step 3: Using a water brush or a slightly damp paint brush, blend the color out from the dark areas into the light areas. If the color is too intense in your light areas, dab it away using a clean paper towel.

Step 4: For a little added depth, add in a tiny bit of the darker color into the darkest shadows. (Brown 060) I do this while it is still wet, then use the water brush to blend it out. 

Step 5: Continue working each petal... Work one section at a time, and don't work right next to a wet area or your colors well bleed and you will lose all definition. 

Don't worry if it looks terrible at this point. 
I always look at it when I only have a few petals done and want to just give up. Don't!!! Keep going. It looks amazing when it's finished!

Step 6: Once dry, you can go in and add details... I used Dark Brown (062)  to add the stamen into the center. I didn't really care where the dots were originally, after all, each flower is different.

If you want to add more images to build a bigger scene, simply mask off your finished areas and stamp using Distress Ink Antique Linen. I make my masks by stamping the image onto clear acetate with a permanent ink like Archival or Staz-On. I then hand cut just barely inside the line. A little repositionable adhesive on the back and it's good to go. You can use paper for your masks, but this is more durable an can be used over and over. It also means you can see through it.. This is nice when you art trying to figure out how to layer other stamps. I like using a stamp press like MISTI because it helps me get everything perfectly how I want it. 

If you want to plan all your images out at the beginning, that's perfectly fine... Sometimes I'm just not sure what I want when I first start and have to work as it comes.. Thats's just how I roll. :)

Step 7: Color your leaves the same way you did the petals... Start by adding the lightest color to the darkest areas, blend out with water, then add in a bit of your darker color... For me the light green is Mid Green (046) and the darker green is Olive Green (043).

Step 8: Once leaf is completely dry, VERY lightly flick your darker green marker to create veins. Start in the center of the leaf and flick outward working your way up the leaf.

Step 9: Because these small flowers are SO small, only one color is needed (though you can use more if you want). I used Blue Gray (092). Add your color in the shadows and blend out, then go back into the shadows with the same marker... a TINY bit goes a long way with tiny images. When dry, you can add details to the flowers by flicking in lines, as well as adding a different color to your center. I used Light Brown (061)

You can also go back in and add more details to you main flower... I decided to flick in some lines with my darker color  Brown (060)

And here it is finished... Now to make something with it...

The butterfly is stamped and colored the same way as the flowers, however I used Distress ink for most of it. 

I smeared my Victorian Velvet Distress ink pad on a plastic sheet, and picked up color using the water brush and painted the butterfly...
Then repeated that with Aged Mahogany to add in the deeper shadows. 

I used my Light Gray (091) Clean Color to add some flicked details to the wings, and Dark Oatmeal (066) for the body.

The sentiment was stamped using Hero Arts Wet Cement Ink. The sentiment is originally one long line. To make it fit I simply inked and stamped only part of the stamp at a time.

I hope you have a wonderful day.. I think I'm going to enjoy some quite time with Ava by the fireplace. :)



Monday, January 16, 2017

bunch of balloons...

Hello my fabulous friends!

I injured my right hand the other day, and trying to craft when your hand is immobilized with tape and a brace is frustratingly difficult! I had wanted to have another tutorial done today, but it's going to have to wait for another day or two. :(

So instead, I just a have a quick card to share with you today...

It's one I made a while ago, but never quite got around to sharing

I made this for my nephew's birthday last year, and I didn't want to share it until after he got it... then the photo got buried and I forgot to share.... oops!

This cute turtle is from Inky Antics: Halloween Turtle.  It's a super cute set with tons of accessories for dressing up the turtle as different halloween things.. but all by himself his is just cute! I colored him in using Distress Markers.

The sentiment is Great Impressions: Sweet Sentiments

The balloons are from Tim Holtz Crazy Things stamp set. 

Quick tip on balloons... Use vellum!

I heat embossed these balloons on vellum and hand cut them out... this way they are semi-transparent, and when they are all bunched up, where they overlap, you can see the balloon behind it... just like real balloons!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday... I'm off to see what I can get done one handed....
(wish me luck!)


Thursday, January 12, 2017

shades of gray

Hello my fabulous friends!

Today's project was more of an experiment than anything else...

I generally work with colors, but I wanted to try something a little different and color an image in shades of gray...

I was pleasantly surprised with the end results. 

Note: I was not overly impressed with the Clean Color  Real Brush markers at first... I tried them on water color paper and was under impressed... Then I heard that Bristol paper is the way to go. I tried it, and now LOVE my Real Brush markers! If you are struggling with them, try different papers... even different brand papers will react differently. 

I stamped several of the images from Altenew's Peony Bouquet onto Bristol paper using VersaFine Onyx Black ink.

I used Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers in Dark Gray (095), Gray Brown (094), and Light Gray (091) along with a water brush to color in the image

I wanted to add a subtle shimmer to it, with out altering the coloring, so I pulled out Tim Holtz Frosted Film. This is an adhesive backed transparent film that you can put over things and it kinda gives it the shimmery look of frost on a window pane... it's hard to photograph but beautiful in real life.

Just cut off a piece big enough to cover the image, and peel a corner off the backing.

Adhere it over your colored image, peeling it off the backing as you go.

Burnish it down gently with your fingers, and make sure there are no trapped air bubbles. 

Like I said, it's really hard to photograph the subtle shimmer, but it's there!

I then fussy cut the image. The other great thing about having the frosted film over the image is that because it is plastic, it gives a lot of stability to the paper, so as you are bending it and trying to get your scissors in the various ins and outs, and wherever you have very thin cuts (like stems), your paper won't tear. I love that!

I added a little bit of color with a matt, but stuck to the gray scale for the rest of the card. The sentiment is from Altenew's Oriental Orchid.

Is there something you have been wanting to try? Maybe a color scheme that is outside your comfort zone?  Or a style that you admire but have been unsure about trying?  Go ahead and try! January is a great month to push beyond your past comfort zones. You may not love your results, but you will learn something along the way. :)


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

meet Ava...

Hello my fabulous friends, and happy New Year!

I know I haven't been very good about blogging lately.... Sorry about that. I've been having some health problems as well as serious stress overload lately. But things should be settling down somewhat now.... I hope!!! :)

I wanted to start off by introducing you to my newest family member...

Isn't she ADORABLE???? 

Her name is Ava, and she is my new service dog.  (Yes, a tiny little Yorkie can be a service dog!)

She doesn't like the cold, so she wears a cute coat outside, and sits by the fireplace inside when she isn't working. She is super sweet, and loves everyone she meets (including my favorite 3 yr old who is still learning to be gentle with tiny dogs....). She is also a great crafting helper... She likes to curl up on my lap while I'm working.  :)

I'm so excited to have her, and so grateful for what she does for me!

Next up, I wanted to share what I made for the CLASSROOM PIN-Sights challenge for December. (yes, this is a last second entry, but hey, I got it done, right?)

Stamps: Essentials By Ellen Mondo Peony  and Fancy Thanks

The colors where reds, white, and a little bright green... I tied to get an nice rich red, but it ended up being more pinkish than I was hoping for... Oh well... I still love it. 

Step 1: I started out by stamping the flower with Fired Brick Distress Ink onto Bristol paper.. I used my MISTI... you'll see why in a bit.

Step 2: I then pulled ink from the stamped lines into the petals with a water brush. This is a super quick and easy way to watercolor.  (this is where it kinda changed from a good red to pinkish)

Step 3: I wanted to try to get more of the darker red back in while adding some dimension, so I smeared some Aged Mahogany Distress ink onto an acrylic block and used my water brush to pick up some of the darker ink and paint in some shadows. 

Step 4: Ok, here's the big reason I used my MISTI... I wanted to make the edges a little more defined, without it being too harsh of lines... so once the image was dry, I stamped over it with Vintage Photo Distress ink. (I also colored in the center of the flower with the Vintage Photo)

Step 5: I put a clear mask over the flower (made by stamping the image on acetate with Archival Ink, fussy cutting it, then adding a little temporary adhesive to the back) and repeated the same process of stamping and painting with the leaves... I used Peeled Paint Distress ink for the first impression and coloring, then Forest Moss Distress Ink for the shadows and over stamping.

Step 6: I added some white highlights to the center with a Faber-Castell PITT pen (101), then added my sentiment with Ground Espresso Distress ink. Again, I used my MISTI for this because I kinda stink at stamping straight with a block, and because I wanted a really nice solid impression, so I stamped it several times. Some simple matting and some clear sequins finished it off nicely.

I hope this year brings you great happiness!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

heaven sent...

 Hello my fabulous friends!

I've been crazy busy lately getting 50 birthday cards done for the Primary kids next year... They ended up being ridiculously labor intensive and took a LOT longer than I had hoped... However, the kids are worth it. :)

I also have been quite busy with a new addition to my family... (more on that in a future post)

Speaking of new additions...  my cousin is going to have a baby girl any day now!!! I needed a baby card to send her, and I recently got this BEAUTIFUL hummingbird stamp as a free gift with a magazine. I knew it would be perfect for a simple yet elegant card.

I kept the card design simple, but I wanted it to have fun movement, so I made it a shaker card.
The hummingbird is a free gift with the Simply Cards & Papercraft issue 153, the sentiment is Unity Precious Little One, the circle die is We R Memory Keepers Circles, the border die is Essentials by Ellen Stitching Lines

The hummingbird was colored with Zig Clean Color markers, then given a  wash of a mix of water and Ranger's Perfect Pearls to give it a beautiful shimmer. 

I'll be honest, this hummingbird is about the 5th attempt... I tried several different mediums to color it, and they all ended up too dark. I love the bright almost luminescent look of the Zig markers. 

A quick tip... To get the line around the circle window, I simply left the die in place after running it through my die cutter, and traced around it with a fine tip marker. I use this trick a lot to get frames or outlines on die cuts. 

Well, I've got to get busy while the little one is sleeping! ;)

Have a wonderful day!