I finally finished my Christmas cards. It was rough going as I just had no idea what I wanted to do. Since getting into the Holiday spirit has been difficult, I decided to go very simple this year. So, I used some pre-cut card kits (leftovers from Club Scrap kits) and stamps from Close to My Heart:
The nesting dies are by Stampin' Up! Not one of my more spectacular efforts, but at least they are done!
I think I've made enough gift tags for Christmas. My goal to use my stash of patterned paper has worked well. I have also been using die cuts quite a bit. For the gift tags below, I folded patterned paper in half and positioned in in the Sizzix/Tim Holtz ornament die so that the fold was below the to cut line. Thus, it makes a mini ornament card. I ran a complimentary paper through the die again to cut out the top of the ornament.
I stamped and punched put the center circles. Super easy! I made the tag below similarly using the Sizzix/Tim Holtz dwellings die:
You can see the top is a bit flat due to the fold. Take a look at your dies - there may be some that would make a perfect fold over card.
For today's tag, I took out (of the package) a couple of new stamps. The background is by Hero Arts - love it!
It was stamped in Distress ink, but seemed a bit too dark for what I wanted to do. Enter Distress Stain in Picket Fence - it toned it down a bit. I stamped the bird (My Mind's Eye from the Merry and Bright collection) onto the tag in black. I then re-stamped it on a separate piece of card stock in Barn Door Distress ink. I cut out the bird and mounted it over the black image with mounting tape. The flowers were also re-stamped onto white card stock, cut out and mounted over the original image. I added some Straw Distress Stickles to the center.
From a scrap of Merry and Bright paper, I die cut the lace edge on the left. I used the same print to punch out different size snowflakes. I added a smear of glitter glue to the snowflakes. Here's a close up:
Last of all, I stamped the sentiment (My Mind's Eye Merry and Bright) and cut out the banner. It was also added to the card with mounting tape. Finally, I stained some cream ribbon with Stormy Sky Distress Stain. I did use the papers and tag from my stash, only the stamps were new!
A few years back, I was debating about getting a Big Shot by Sizzix. After all, I didn't like to use die cuts. I had steered clear of them for decades. But, I did like embossing folders, so I figured why not get the Big Shot. One of the best tools I ever bought. I think this is pretty funny since almost all the cards and tags I have been making use a die cut!
I made the card below for a friend. The snowman in the fold-over card. I folded white card stock in half and the put the fold just below the top of the hat. That way, it doesn't cut through:
After die cutting, I opened the snowman up and placed the front into a snowflake embossing folder. I slightly inked the raised snowflakes and smeared on a bit of glitter glue. The photo below shows how the snowman opens. The banner is made from a SimonSaysStamp thin die (a new favorite!). I mounted the snowman to the card with mounting tape.
I had invited my gym buddies over for a lunch, a thank you for all the support they have given over the past half year. I was thinking of making a cute holiday favor for them to take home. Opening my drawer of dies, I embarrassingly recalled that I had bought the Stampin' Up matchbox die and never used it! No time like the present...
I used a couple of patterned papers, instead of card stock. I wasn't sure how sturdy they would be so I did make a test box. Thankfully, they worked beautifully:
I made the lid from printer transparencies. It was thin enough that I didn't need to score it to wrap it around the little box. I used my ATG gun to adhere it together. Since you can still see a bit of the glue line, I placed the ribbon around the box at the seam and tied a bow. Below is the bottom view, you can see I still needed to adjust the ribbon:
They were a big hit, thankfully. And, I stayed with my resolution to use my stash - including old "new" dies!
I had a weekly feature, Tuesday's Tips, for a couple of years. I haven't really posted any new tips for awhile - been distracted with real life. So, for a twist, I thought I would have Tuesday's Tag. I figure it will help me get tags done for Christmas. Plus, I can make some for gift tags for a variety of occasions. For the tag below, I used a Darcy's Christmas set:
I stamped a swirl in gold and silver inks, then lightly sprayed with Glimmer Mist. The tree was stamped with Bottle Adirondak. I stamped the frame and greeting, cut them out and mounted it to the card with mounting tape. Quick and easy - which is something I need!
One of the more interesting card sketches this season has layered stamping. I was playing around with this technique using some snowflake stamps and Distress Inks.
To make it a bit easier to stamp, I used re-positionable adhesive to keep my white panels in place. The sizes of the white panels are:
5 1/4 x 4
4 1/4 x 3
3 1/4 x 2
The blue card stock sizes are:
5 1/2 x 4 1/4 (fold over card)
4 1/2 x 3 1/4
3 1/2 x 2 1/4
Super easy to cut and the card comes together quickly, The plastic snowflakes have a bit of iridescent glitter glue. I threaded a scrap of home made twine in red and white.
I was originally going to post this tag on Tuesday, but jumped the gun and posted a card instead. This tag was made while I was playing with my new falling stars die. I added the row of house (Sizzix/Tim Holtz) and couple of Stampin' Up tag images. At the bottom. I made a mixture of white flocking and glitter to imitate snow. All tied up with homemade twine!
I recently purchased a couple of new dies, mainly for backgrounds. I love the Falling Stars thin die made by Memory Box for SimonSaysStamp. I decided to combine it with another die I bought some time ago (and never used!)
After assembling the pieces, I decided to add my "homemade twine" and a mini tag (from Stampin' Up). I added a bit of glitter glue -
Loved the way this card turned out. It may be a future Christmas card...
"Tis the season for all things holiday. I recently purchased a few (trying to stick with my "use my stash" commitment) new Christmas papers. The above background chevron's are from My Mind's Eye. Love the colors. I'm having a Holiday lunch for my gym buddies and thought it would make a great background for the invitation.
I wanted to make it simple and easy since I needed a dozen or so. I "second generation" stamped the sentiment "May all your days be merry and bright", and over stamped the "You're Invited" in a deep eggplant color. I love the subtle contrast that the two colors bring. Originally, that was going to be the entire card...but I decided to punch and stamp the mini tag (Stampin' Up!). Then, I needed twine...to match....So, out came the markers and white twine to customize the color. It was a long process making the twine for 12 cards, but I am pleased with the final product!
I have been busy with Christmas projects (a nice distraction between legal maneuverings). My holiday patterned papers are being put to good use - particularly those which are single sided. A 6x6 piece easily yields 2 fold over gift tags. I have combined a couple of papers from the same set, and used a border punch to create the tree order.
Keeping with the theme of using my stash - a tag with a background I stamped, oh so long ago! I used a scalloped oval punch to frame the little reindeer (SimonSaysStamp) and added a sentiment. Easy, peasy!
Since we went to Southern California for Thanksgiving, I decided to get some early Christmas shopping done. I figure it would save me some shipping! This cute little guy is from a SimonSaysStamp kit for the Holidays. I definitely think that the ongoing theme this year is "use your patterned paper"!
It has been a while since I participated in my friend, Nancy's, "Squirrely Challenge". This was a simple charge - use Washi tape. If you have read my blog for some time, you know this was right up my alley! It seems as if Washi tape is everywhere - but is it actually Washi Tape?
Washi is a type of paper from Japan, often used in Origami. The tape is made similarly - often from pulpy paper sources. It has a distinctive weight and finish (both the paper and the tape). There are a lot of decorative tapes out now - some are true Washi, while others are tissue or craft tape. The Tim Holtz/Ranger products are tissue tapes. They are made differently, have a different texture and adhesive. The behave differently, particularly with wet media.
All that being said, I used a variety of tapes on this card for the challenge:
The trees and striped tapes are "craft/tissue" tapes and the blue text is actual Washi tape. The "Keep Calm and Merry On" is from a clear set of Darcy's Christmas stamps. Had a bit of a problem as the stamp is not very deeply etched. It will definitely require "surgery"! The embossing folder used on the card is by Stampin' Up. I made my own red and white twine with string and a Sharpie!
Since I pretty much missed October, I decided to use a few new items that I purchased to make Halloween cards. At least it's still Fall!
The latest journal page for my swap with Kate. Stains, sprays, inks used with stencils and stamps. The fun Halloween saying is from Artistic Outpost. I had "Nightmare Before Christmas" playing in the background - the three fellows in the circle (Stampotique) reminded me of Oogy Boogy's henchmen!
I was playing with the Holiday Card Kit from SimonSaysStamp. Included with the papers, card stocks and other goodies, is an adorable little wafer die of a gift. Had to try it out! So, I ran it through my Big Shot using print, solid and white papers. Love the way packages turned out - so quick and simple!
I am trying out ideas for possible Christmas cards. I had been thinking of using my ornament die from Sizzix as a focal. After die cutting the shape, I decided to punch an oval and insert a mini tag I was making. This definitely sparked some ideas of pairing punches and die cuts!
I was playing around with some new Holiday stamps (like I really needed some!) and wanted to fiddle with some background ideas. Holiday Card Workshop online class had a day of embossing techniques. So, I thought this would be a fun "old meets new(er)" idea. The background card is glossy white which I brayed Kaleidacolor's "Fruitcake" rainbow pad. I turned the cover over and placed it on Martha Stewart's Score Board and added some raised lines. I then sanded off the color. It's difficult to see in the photo, but it creates an interesting contrast to the strong ink colors. The stamps are by Stampin' Up.
I signed up for an online card class, Holiday Card Workshop, to get back into the spirit of creating. Plus, I really need some Christmas card ideas for this year's cards. One of the techniques demonstrated was a "Faux Fresco" using an embossing folder,markers and paint or Distress Stains. I cut my embossed card stock in half to create 2 cards using this technique - one with white paint and one with white Distress Stain.
The folder is by Cuttlebug, actually both folders used are from them. After running a piece of card stock through my Big Shot, I very sloppily colored with light markers (an eggshell/light tan and a light blue/aqua). Once dry, I dapped a Ranger white paint Dabber (top card) and Picket Fence Distress Stain (bottom card). When the panel was dry, I sponged along the edges with Old Paper Distress Ink. I used glossy card stock, since I already had it on my desk. I think I might try again Bristol for a different look.
That word sums up a lot of things going on in my life. I am finally able to move forward a bit since my mother's death in September. I am finally accepting that some extended family relationships are over due to egregious behavior on the part of these relatives. I can finally move forward with settling the trust. And, I am finally feeling a bit more creative.
I made this journal page (not my favorite as I am a bit rusty) in an attempt to get back to art and to move forward. Finally!
I have been art journaling for years. Love the free form and mixed media - especially since it's a great place for me to express my unusual taste in non "mainstream" stuff. Usually, I am a visual journaler - maybe adding a quote or a word or two. I've never been a writer or chronicler of my life.
Since July, I have been traveling to and from So. Ca. to visit my ailing mother. I am of the "sandwich" generation - squeezed between helping/supporting college age children and taking care of my mother. Things have not been going well - a meddling relative helped to convince my mom to go against our wishes, medical advice, and, quite frankly, common sense. So, she is not doing well. I have some decisions to make...
Enter art journaling. I need somewhere to write it out (so as not to continually vent to my friends - several of whom have been great). Since, I am not one of many words, it is a unique experience. I picked a book called "Picture Frames", which I will alter and use as a journal. I cleared out some pages, glued some together for strength, and gesso-ed the first dozen or so. I think it will be a combination of my usual style and some writing. I thought I would stay with the "frame" idea - adding page or image frames on my pages. My first couple of pages:
I picked 6 spray colors to use as a palette. I like the fact that the pages are visible even after adding the gesso and sprays.
As I will be continuing to fluctuate between No and So California, my posting will be anything but consistent. Plus, I do not want to post only the tough times I am having. So, I hope you pop in occasionally to see what's going on. I'm hoping for a bit mind clearing to help my creative process.
With all the traveling to and from Southern California (I live in Northern California), it's been difficult finding creative time. Lately, that includes reading and research. While my life is still in flux, I will be suspending Tuesday's Tips until things settle down a bit - let me know if you find some new and exciting idea to share!
I had a few moments recently, and thought it would be a good time to start on the shadow box I painted a few weeks ago. I used a page of Carta Bella's All Hallow's Eve, some ephemera and a glass bottle:
I used black alcohol ink to color the bottle. Drip a couple drops into your glass and rotate the bottle for coverage. The bird cage is a 3-D acetate sticker.
This is a close up of the top slot. I have a few more things to add here - possible some pen nibs, etc.
In my quest to find some creative inspiration, I found a fun little tip involving children's art work. I had saved my kids art for many years until I hit upon the idea to photograph it. Easier to have the photographs - they take up less space - and I could scrap them projects in the school albums.
I came across a fun idea while taking an on-line class by Claudine Helmuth. You could create a collage of your children's art. Cool idea for a playroom or child's bedroom wall. Plus, you can rotate the projects. I thought it might be neat to (first photograph the complete project) cut it up and use it in your own art journals or collage.
I had made the base of this card a while back. I love Washi tape and tend to use it a lot, particularly in art journals. When I received this floral tape from my friend Sherry, I knew it would make a fun background. So, I just cut a panel and taped away!
It was quick and easy - and I really love the shades of blue in the tape. Since tapes are the hottest product out there, you will have a variety from which to choose for backgrounds and accents! I added colored card stock (Club Scrap) and some Stampin' Up stamps and punch. I used Distress markers to color the inside of the flowers. It is difficult to see, but I used a vine embossing folder on the brown strip. Quick and easy, especially if you have pre-made bases!
As some might know, I have been pretty quiet creatively. Family issues have taken a lot of my time - and a lot of my energy. I won't bore you with the details, but it has been difficult. So, I am attempting to jump start my creativity once again - perusing magazines, books, Pinterest!
Since Halloween will be approaching, and I have always loved Halloween, I thought I might do a project to get me back in the groove again. I haven't gotten very far, but it IS a start:
This is actually an old Club Scrap chipboard project that I thought I might turn into a Halloween vignette. The base is brown. with touches of black. I will probably do a bit more aging before adding paper, ephemera etc. I am starting to feel it...
Do you create under stress? Is it therapeutic to pour yourself into a project or do you become stagnant?
With all the family issues and travel, I have not had much time to create. However, I have been able to cruise around the web for ideas. I found a fun stencil/mask idea on the Paper Crafter's blog. Did you know you could use your thin dies as masks? Nestibilities dies would be great for shapes in different sizes!
After attending CHA Anaheim, I wrote a few blog posts showcasing some new products. One of the more interesting tools was the Stamping Gear from Inkadinkado. I had several inquiries as to when it would be available. You can find it here, at SimonSaysStamp. They are selling the components and specialty stamps, singly. Check out YouTube for videos demonstrations as to all the uses.
I was inspired to use my Inktense watercolor stick by a card made by my Squirelly (Art) friend, Nancy. I scribbled, painted with a water brush, die cut, and stamped. Not sure I like the results. I was not going to post, but I think it is good to show your art in different incarnations. Sometimes, things work out well and other times, not so well. We all have these experiences, even some of the captains in the industry. I remember watching a demonstration by Kevin Nakagawa (Stampscapes) - he ended up with a funky thumb print in the middle of the card. Others have tried a new color combination in a demo, and ended up being less than happy with the result. So...here is my "less than thrilling" card:
It could be better...and it could be worse! What has been your experiences?
...in your studio with a song running through your head! Actually, this song, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" has been running through my head for a couple of weeks. When I received my journal in the swap that I am doing, it seemed like a logical page idea. I used some patterned papers as a base, laying down inks and sprays.
The trees were stamped in Distress ink. I actually used a scoop of ice cream as the tree leaves. Not sure if I like them, but I do not want to start over. The clouds are a stamp from Stampin' Up (marshmallows from a cocoa set) with Liquid Applique (remember that!?). I penned in accents using Crayola Spider Writers, Copic markers and Souffle pens.
I love book stores. I do not often get the opportunity to go into one since I own a Nook. Usually, I buy magazines and art books at the store. While on an excursion for magazines, I totally scored some fun books for collage and altering! They were on the discount area when I entered, ao I could not resist. And I could not decide, so....
I splurged and bought all three! I already have some ideas for usage....
This is a little reminder of a great tip - that I needed for myself. With all the family issues, my creative time has been limited. I have had some great ideas for cards, journal pages etc. Unfortunately, many have been lost BECAUSE I DID NOT WRITE THEM DOWN! Yeah, it was pretty stupid, especially since I usually have several notepads around the house...
Remember, you never know when inspiration and a good idea will strike. Keep a small notebook with you. Better yet, keep several in key locations (purse and bedside table for me).
I was in need of a baby card - but was a bit stumped. I am having issues with my mom (in rehab, refusing physical therapy and a cousin who is a nightmare....think Jerry Springer) so I have not been feeling terrible creative. While out looking for some wrapping paper, I found this tissue paper in the same colors as the outfit I bought.
I love the color combination of pink and grey! So, I pulled out an embossing folder,ink pads, some stamps and punches:
I was very pleased with the clean and simple look of the card. From what items have you drawn inspiration lately?
The Squirrely Challenge is from the current edition of Technique Junkies Newsletter. It is called the "embossed puzzle" - dry emboss a card stock panel, cut and ink. For more information, check out TechniqueJunkies.com. For links to additional Squirrely Challenge girls, visit Nancy's blog at Squirrely Art. My contribution:
I inked the embossed pieces with a variety of Distress Inks. The telephone was colored with Distress Marker (yellow) and a Cut and Dry Nib inked with Distress Raspberry ink. Stamps used are from Printworks and SimonSaysStamp.
Banners are very popular at present. They can be a variety of sizes - from large decor items to smaller card sized embellishments. Banners can be made from paper, card, stock, chipboard, etc. For a fun metallic steampunk type of banner, use paper clips. They can be colored with alcohol inks - lending a fun (primary colors) to vintage (subdued colors) embellishment.
It has been a tad busy here over the past 2 weeks. My daughter was in town for a brief visit and I am dealing long distance with an elderly mother going downhill (mostly mentally, but physically as well). So, I really needed to get caught up on my journal exchange pages.
This was a definitely go with the flow type of spread. I started by spraying Dylusions Sprays in a yellow and green. Then, I just randomly stamped various leaves and backgrounds - I think I considering something floral. The previous 2 pages were my "Green"/wicked witch scene and Kate followed up with an "over the rainbow" scene. I decided to continue the Oz theme a bit - stamping,coloring and cutting out the images. I glittered the wings and various areas of the background. I added glitter to the background subtly - placing drops on my finder and smearing it around.
Thought a close up might show the glitter better - you can see some on her wings. All fairy stamps are from Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous, background stamps are Stampin' Up, house is from Club Scrap, and saying is from Graphic 45/Hampton (I think it's Hampton Arts).
Lately, I have been all about variety. I have mixed in pattern papers again - as well as doilies and other fun goodies from back when I started card making. I am attempting to do the same with my journals - adding more paints and media to pages. A couple of fun additions to try - envelopes and
and old greeting cards. I have few cards saved and I thought I might "tip" them into established journals. Tipping in pages is fairly common - way back when, we would construct entire books from these pages. Simply attach a tip-in to an existing page - or trim down a page to an inch or so strip and attach to that.
While touring the neighborhoods of Paris, I noticed some interesting murals and bits of graffiti. This was a striking mural on the side of a building in the Marais neighborhood - a bookstore was housed in the bottom floor. The top two scenes are from Don Quixote...
There were several of these paper images around the city - most were half torn off...
This little guy is actually the "mascot" of a famous Mont Martre restaurant Lapin Agile. I love his expression....
I had a mess of scraps on my desk (bet you thought I would be posting a photo of that mess!) - what to do....I usually save the larger pieces or punch usable shapes and save in a baggie. Instead, I decided to challenge myself to create something from the scraps. So, the above ATC was born. The only "non-desk" items were the sentiment stamp and the pearls. Challenge yourself and try to come up with art from the mess on your desk (come on - you know you probably have a little bit of a mess!)
I was running behind in my art journal exchange with my friend, Kate. I have been attempting to have a vision of a completed page, but it has not really been working. So, I am going with the flow!
This page started with a variety of spray mists - Dylusions (LOVE these), Perfect Pearls Mists, and Glimmer Mists. After each layere dried, I attempted more spraying over stencils - circles and trees. When all was dry, it seemed to me that I was working toward a water scene! For the little mermaids on the left, I stamped small fish and added the tails to Art Chix mini gals. The depth and shimmer of the pages does not really show in the photo.
Do you plan out your pages or go with the flow?