Monday, May 31, 2010

Pansy cards

These pansies are based on a tutorial that was posted to the Stars and Stamps blog this week. They're actually really easy to make - you need five punched petals and you trim two of them in half to make the smaller petals. The tutorial used a large butterfly punch and I don't have one, but I figured out how to get a similar result using a small seashell punch. My flowers are a lot smaller and fiddlier than hers (because of the size) but I love how they came out. I guess mine are violas. One nice thing about flowers - no two of them are ever exactly the same, so it adds to the verisimilitude to use different colours and slightly different petal shapes. :P You can see the tutorial here.

May RSC Sketch Challenge

When I looked at the sketch for this month's card contest on the Rubber Stamp Chat site, it reminded me of one of the templates I have for my Fiskars scrapboss... so I sat down and made myself a 3-dimensional layered card. Btw the paper behind the butterfly is white, not grey... but the butterfly is 3D and it raised the card up enough that it didn't scan very well.

I started with my oval wreath template - I embossed it, then I turned the template over and put the card back underneath it and I coloured in the flowers and leaves with my chalks using tiny bits of tissue as a brush. I haven't ever tried this technique before - I have chalks but I virtually never use them! But I wanted the colours to be softer than ink would have produced. A bit of green got where I didn't want it to be, but it was easily rubbed off with my sticky eraser.

Once the wreath was coloured to my satisfaction I took it out of the template and put my Colluzzle Oval into the center to cut out the middle. Then I inked the edges and the sides lightly with a couple of shades of green ink, stamped my corner designs and sentiment, and put a plain white card inside. Lastly I stuck down my butterfly (a 3D sticker) and my card was finished. And now I'm done, I'm going for a swim!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

365 Cards - Ippity Week

I just wasn't in the card-making mood this week... so today I had a whole week's worth of cards to do! Good thing I've been inspired by the Operation Write Home Memorial Day Bloghop... I was originally going to make all my cards red, white and blue in honour of the weekend, but that didn't really work out, so I settled for making them all Thinking of You/Miss You cards. OWH always needs these and I don't make enough of them!

Day 84 - Sketchy Sunday
I kept it very simple and used scraps of paper for the rays... I wish I hadn't drawn those stars in around the stamped sentiment because they didn't turn out at all the way I'd pictured them, but what's done is done! It wasn't horrible enough to need to cover it up. 

Day 85 - Flora and Fauna. Use a plant/flower and some kind of wildlife on your card.
This is where the red, white and blue theme broke down... because the first thing I thought of was some wild animal stamped images that I was RAKed, and that went with my gorgeous Safari paper pack. 

Day 86 - Keep it Simple. Use ONE stamped image, ONE stamped sentiment, and ONE embellishment. No patterned paper allowed.
I've had this printed image for donkey's years... 

Day 87 - All Natural. Incorporate something natural (flower, leaf etc.) into your card.
I tried making a leafy card with skeleton leaves... but they looked horrible when I glued them down so I trashed that one and went with something a bit more cooperative - some genuine pau shell :) I just adore those colours... 

Day 88 - Insect Frenzy. Use three different kinds of bug on your card, with at least ten bugs in total.
There are about 25 dragonflies on this card alone... I stamped the background with a stampin' up leafy stamp and layered the dragonflies on top. 

Day 89 - Courage and Strength
A very simple card. The sentiment and embellishment were both RAKs. 

Day 90 - Card Recipe.
  • 5x5 Card
  • 3 stamps (including the sentiment)
  • String, fiber or twine
  • 2 patterned papers
  • 4 blossoms 
This is the only card from this week that's HARD! I'm still working on it. I've never made a card quite like this before... but that's what's great about the challenges - they really stretch my imagination!
And that's the end of Ippity Week!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Bloghop Goody List

(Go back one entry for my bloghop proper.)

The lesson I learned last time is never try to REMEMBER where the goodies are when there are more than a dozen blogs involved! After forgetting where everything was I went back and revisited the blogs and made a list, and it worked great for me and everyone else... so I'm doing it again. As I go through the 150+ blogs on the list, I'll be noting down any that have giveaways or that I need to revisit for future inspiration.

Starting with mine and moving down.
  • Creating with Kajikit - free Any Hero poems, coloured digital frame and ready-to-print cards. Patriotic blog candy to win.
  • Splashes of Joy - email for a free Missing You patriotic digit set with a puppydog theme.
  •  Carolyn has blog candy and three cards so gorgeous I couldn't pick a favourite if you held me at gunpoint.
  • Anita has blog candy if you sign up to follow her blog, and instructions for making sweet little pinwheel cards.
  • Kathy has promised to make a card for OWH for every comment she recieves, so make sure you leave her some fodder! She also has cute blog candy.
  • Joanne has made a card with a very unusual spiral popup, and she gives you instructions on how to make it yourself. She also has a link to a perfect digital freebie for OWH. 
  • Sherrie at Impressionable Art has blog candy in return for spreading the word about OWH.
  • Sbartist has blog candy, and she shares a cute flag card I might have to borrow.
  • Claudia shares a link to a free downloadable spidey digi.
  • Debby shares some unusual vintage-style cards and tribute to a fallen airman... and if you follow her blog she has candy too.
  • The Midnight Crafter shows us how to many many different cards from one simple background design.
  • Lindsey has some blog candy to give away, and a simple sketch to try.
  • Lastly, the OWH blog has some gorgeous digital freebies to download and some bumper boxes of cardstock to give away.
  • (I sense a trend here! Not a lot of tutorials etc to link to, but LOTS of candy to win! It's time for a break. I'll be back later with more from the first half of the blog.) 
Back to the start of the Hop... (I started from my own blog, 2/3 of the way through the list.)
  • You get some yummy blog candy and a freebie to get you started on the Stars and Stamps blog
  • Kate has a questionare on blog tutorials... and blog candy for answering it.
And it looks as if every second person has blog candy so I'm not going to list them all... this is getting repetitive! Let's see if anyone has anything else to note. :) (nothing against the candy, but if almost everyone has it then it defeats the purpose of trying to make a checklist. I'm going to just note things OTHER than your basic candy or I'm going to wear my fingers out typing.
  • Pat's card is very simple... but I'm bookmarking it for exactly that reason. It takes a deft touch to make such a clean and simple card look good... and I want to borrow her design for OWH. I need some quick-and-easy card designs to help fill my next box!
  • Caryl has a challenge for us! Make a card using the simple sketch she's included in her blog entry, and you could win a genuine set of SU stamps. 
  • Paula has a sweet little patriotic chick for us to download.
  • You can't go past Sandy's blog - she's made us a whole sheet of digital images to use, AND she has a tutorial on making backgrounds with waxed paper AND as if that's not enough, she has a challenge for us to make a card this weekend using her image/s to win another prize.
  • WinkWinkInk is giving us a free patriotic teddybear to play with...
  • Don't worry be Scrappi has free digital graphics featuring Oscar the Camel... and if you make a card featuring Oscar you could win a yummy stack of blog candy.
  • Create with me has a little video tutorial on masking
There are too many to list everyone... everyone is so generous with their stashes this year! I'm not even halfway through the list and it's time for bed. 

      It's bloghop time!

      Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you all...

      This entry is part of the Operation Write Home Memorial Day Weekend Bloghop. If you are following the hop in order you should have come to this blog from Christy's 'Wonderfully Complex Designs'. If you've come from some place else, you're welcome to join the hop - there are well over 100 blogs signed up, so there's plenty of beautiful cards to admire, ideas to be gained, and blog candy to be won. The official start of the hop it at but it's a big circle so you can pick it up from here and not miss out on anything.

      Speaking of blog candy... Last time we had a blog-hop I asked people to do a challenge - but I didn't realise that when you have 100+ blogs to get through in a weekend you really don't have the time to follow up on them all! My challenge was too complicated for the time-frame available, and my blog candy was unclaimed. So this time I'll make it easy for you. I have not one but two small patriotic grab bags of goodies to give away, so there are two things you can do to win - 1) Follow my blog. And 2) Leave me a comment on this entry. Don't forget to include your blog/website/email etc so I can get in touch with you some way if you're a winner.
      If you do both you get two shots. On Tuesday I'll draw some lucky numbers from a hat and two people get an envy. Now that's not too hard, is it? :)

      Your prize will contain various goodies to make beautiful patriotic cards, and they'd make great Any Hero Cards for Operation Write Home. OWH always needs notes and cards of encouragement to include in the shipping boxes... The message doesn't have to be fancy and complicated - just from the heart like these little ditties I created (feel free to borrow/adapt them to your needs).

      Dear Hero
      this I pray
      God bless you
      every day
       (OR God keep you
      Safe today)
      To our Heroes

      Thank you for your courage
      Thank you for your dedication
      Thank you for your willingness to serve
      Thank you for your strength

      Thank you from America

      My other gift to you is is a sheet that I created to print patriotic cards. I made the frames from scratch in photoshop and added free graphics I found online. It was made to print on a standard sheet of paper. Just print it out, cut it into four and mount the images on a plain card and voila.
      And in case you don't like the whole sheet, here's a single frame with a blank center you can use to make your own card from scratch.

      When you're done with my entry, your next stop on the hop is Katlyn's 'Splashing with Joy. She's new to OWH so make her feel welcome - and she has a lovely free graphic to share.

      Sunday, May 23, 2010

      Stars and Stamps Wednesday

      This week's challenge is to make a card with stars on it... which fits right into my push to make some 4th July cards before the deadline! 4th July cards have to arrive at a mailer by June 1st, which means this is your very last week to get them done. If you think you'll be too late to get your cards to a mailer, don't put 'July 4th' or 'Independence Day' on them, make them general cards in red/white/blue etc and they can still be used afterwards.
      If you're still in the mood for red/white/blue cards, Operation Write Home is having a big bloghop next weekend for Memorial Day. There are approximately 130 blogs signed up and it's not too late to join in! Click here. I know what I'll be doing next weekend...

      Saturday, May 22, 2010

      365 Cards - Day 81/82/83

      Day 81- Setting the Scene (make a picnic card)
      The ant and cutlery are diecuts somebody gave me... I've had them for ages and I didn't have a clue what they'd come in handy for - it just goes to show you'll find a use for ANYTHING eventually!  I made my own paper plate - I cut a half-circle with the colluzzle and used my Fiskars Scrapboss to create the rim.
       Day 82 - Substitution Please (use a number in your sentiment instead of a word)
      This was a lot harder than it sounds... In the end I came up with a very simple card that has a lot of hand-writing on it. Inside the card is a fancy swirly 'congratulations' stamp because it's obviously for a wedding or an engagement.
      Day 83 - 4-wheel drive
      I hope some little boy will like this monster truck card!

      Friday, May 21, 2010

      365 Cards - Still catching up

      Day 80 - Keep it to yourself: Friendship (friendship card without a sentiment)
      This little guy was too cute not to use. I made the background with a teardrop stamp.

      Day 79 - Color Scheme

      These colours just screamed 'patriotic' to me... and besides it's the last week to make July 4th cards to send to Operation Write Home... so I pulled out my patriotic stickers and made some cards. The second card also fits the Stars and Stamps midweek challenge this week - simply make a card incorporating star/s! I'll be making some more starry cards this weekend and giving them their own entry later on.
      Day 78 - Imagine this money
      This challenge is not to make a card including money... but to make a card INSPIRED by money. Money is not something I've ever had much of... so I give you two simple cards - I've SAVED money on these two cards because they're both recycled from a tourist brochure. We live in the Sunshine State... but all we can do is dream of enjoying the luxuries of the rich, like the gentleman enjoying himself on the left! If the good fairies ever blessed us with wealth, we'd have a house of our own.

      Day 77 - Sketchy Sunday

      Thursday, May 20, 2010

      365 Cards - Way behind!

      I'm so far behind I'm not sure I can catch up... but here goes nothing. I've made a few of the cards already and I haven't got around to uploading them.

      Day 76 - Crisscross Applesauce (card with a criss-cross pattern)

      Day 75 - Card Recipe. Use ONLY these ingredients:
      4.25 x 5.5 card
      2 patterned papers
      1 piece of ribbon
      stamped image (digi counts!)
      stamped sentiment

      Day 74 - Buttons and Bows. Use 4 buttons AND 4 bows on your card.
      This SOUNDS easy enough.. but I can't be trusted to tie more than one bow on a card without ruining it... so I rummaged and dug until I found some bow punchies I could use instead. The buttons are real though. (and the cardstock is an orange that almost matches the clown's outfit - I'm not sure why it scanned in as tan!

      Day 73 -Tricoloured. Use ONLY three colours plus black and white on your card, with a stamped or digital image. My colours are red, blue, silver and of course black and white. The card is decorated inside and out. The black things inside are actually silver sequins with red and blue graduation caps but they don't scan.

       And that catches me up. Whew!

      Friday, May 14, 2010

      I have wallart - for Five Dollars Total!

      I've had a simple wallart saying above the window for the last few years, but I've always wanted to decorate the door wall as well. When I was shopping at Ross yesterday, I found a pale pastel flowering vine set of wall stickers that looked like it would do the job perfectly. The pink and brown stickers are from Ross, and the others are wall stickers from the Dollar Tree. I think I'm happy with the end result. It's not too 'little girly', but it definitely reflects my personality. And I've still got a whole sheet of the pink flowers left over (no more vines, but lots of flowers) in case I change my mind about the decoration and want to add something else. But the best thing is that they're easily-removable stickers so if I get tired of them I can take them down without trashing my nice yellow paint, and the landlord can't get cross with me for decorating the walls. Actually, he wouldn't mind, he's a great landlord... but removable is ALWAYS good! I've used the Dollar Tree removable stickers before to add colour to our bathroom and kitchen, and once they're pulled off you'll never know they were ever there. I wish they still sold the nice ones, but they've gone out of fashion or something. The Dollar Tree mostly focuses on selling food and toiletries and holiday junk nowadays, and they have hardly any art and craft supplies. :( I get what I can at Ross, but the Dollar Tree was cheaper!

      PS. You can also see my wardrobe card display (every time I get a card in the mail for a swap or whatever, I put it onto my wall and leave it there till the slats are too full to fit any more!), and my beautiful curtains. I'm proud of both! Nobody can see into our windows on that side (we're upstairs and there's an empty factory opposite us, and the palm tree outside our apartment has grown enough that it covers 50% of the window anyway) so I don't need to worry about blocking the view from the outside, I just needed to prettify the window and to distract the eye a little from side empty factory.

      Thursday, May 13, 2010

      Stars and Stamps Wednesday

      Stars and Stamps is having a competition this week with a prize of three gorgeous digital images courtesy of Wink Wink Ink. Just use the free teddybear to make a card and link it back to the blog.
      I used the pre-coloured teddy (they also have a black-and-white version for people who are better artists than me!), and he looked like he needed some cheering up, so I made my own sentiment in Publisher. A few scraps and stickers later, and I was done. You can download the teddy bear and enter the competition here. Have fun!

      On another note, I've made a new blog to host some of my travel, scenic and nature photos. I'll be posting a new photo every day,  so please check it out!

      Wednesday, May 12, 2010

      365 Cards - Day 71, 72

      Day 71 - Do that Decade: Roaring Twenties
      It doesn't often take me two days to make a card... but I was a bit stuck on this one! Almost everyone else did a 'flapper' card and I wanted to be different! The 1920s was the era of Art Deco, so I made an Art-deco inspired stained glass window card. The stained glass is made with gold peely stickers on vellum and I coloured the back with markers. Then I mounted it in a window and put a white insert behind it.
      (PS. Reading the challenge again it seems I could have picked ANY decade! Oh well... it's done now. Everyone needs a challenge now and then.) 

      Day 72 - It needs something
      Today's challenge (okay, yesterday's) was to take a stamped or printed image and add something to it. I found this cute little boy stamp in my basket, and I added some stickers and a rubon baseball bat to transform him into a junior sportsman. The hat and shoes are a bit big, but I think they're cute! I had a sticker bat but it was way too big for him. The sentiment is a rubon too... I was going to put 'congratulations' but that rubon broke when I was trying to attach it. I hate rubons for that very reason!

      Sunday, May 9, 2010

      Super Sketchy Sunday

      I said I'd post these cards later... it's just a tad later than I planned! Church took three hours today (yes, a full three! At the end of the service when they give the Altar Call and we pray, the leader decided to push people a bit about making their commitments instead of just thinking about them, and they got five takers - two baptisms and three new memberships. The pastor asked us to wait while they filled the baptistry and he dunked them on the spot. I think too many people have second and third thoughts if he makes them wait a week.) Anyway, I didn't get to the cards till tonight.

      Here's last Sunday's sketch (365 Cards Day 63). The swirl said 'stamp' to me, so I made a stamped card. At first I stuck strictly to the design, but it was too plain, so I added the flowers... and a little bling to finish it off.

      And here's todays (365 Cards, Day 70). I was stumped by what to use for the triangles... but I saw another card where they'd used leaves very effectively, and I had  pretty sheet of vellum stickers waiting to be used. I didn't have a ribbon that went with them, so I made one from scraps of cardstock.

      Three letter challenges

      I didn't have a lot of time to make cards this week, so I've done these yesterday and today... posting them quickly before I go to church. I'll add more descriptions when I get back - I'm late already!

      Day 65 - Anniversary, Arc, Alpabet Stickers
      I'm playing with 5x6 cards atm, so I'm using up embellishments etc that are just a little too big for a standard A2 card. The tag is printed with part of the wedding vows, and it seemed appropriate to use for this. The ribbon has been hoarded for far too long, and the strips on either side of the tag are cut from cardstock.

      Day 66 - White, White space, Wings
      I kept it very simple. A pretty punched border, white embossed cardstock, and some gorgeous 3D butterfly stickers. 

      Day 67 - Love, Lace, Leaves
      More hoarded lace... it has leaves in the design but I also drew some around the stamped image. The sentiment strip is printed on the computer. 

      Day 68 - Circle, Cross-stitch, Cream (outside and inside front - since I had to line it to cover up the cross-stitch, I stamped on the liner.) This one took me awhile! When I was done with the stitching I couldn't feel my fingers any more, but it was worth it. I used variegated thread and it's long enough to change colours nicely. The blob on the inside is on the scanner ,not the card.

      Day 69 - Triangle, Tree, Twine
      I hate working with twine! But a challenge is a challenge... I dyed this with ink and wrapped it around brads to fasten it onto the card. The image was stamped on white cardstock and I inked it up with the same ink to age it. The background is a beautiful metallic print, and I used some metallic scraps for the triangles.

      And that's your lot for the morning. It was fun to do these challenges...

      Thursday, May 6, 2010

      Recycled Cards and OWH

      I packaged up my 'Any Time' cards for OWH and got them off in the mail on Tuesday, which was pretty much the last day to get them there before the contest closes on the tenth! I thought I'd made tons but when I started counting them there were only 36... It's not worth sending a priority envelope unless there are at least 50 cards in there, so I sat down and whipped up a dozen quick notecards using recycled images to fill up the envelope. The photo ones came from a Florida tourist brochure that had full-page colour photos on one side of the pages, and the art ones are made from a 'friendship' gift book I bought to use for card-making. The sentiments were all pre-stamped because John was building my new computer and I couldn't use the desk OR the dining room table - I sat on the bed surrounded by supplies and glued up the cards there!