Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Splitcoast Sketch and a Sweet Chickadee

Every time that I pull out this sweet chickadee, I walk away with a smile on my face!!

Check out the "frost" on the berries.  And can you see the glossy accent on his eye!

Here's today's Splitcoast Sketch Challenge

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy God's Purpose
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Creamy Caramel, Real Red, Silver Glimmer, Echo Park Dots and Stripes (the Sweet 'n Sassy online store carries the Dots and Stripes series)
  • Ink: Memento black, copics
  • Accessories: Nestabilities Fleur de Lis Square, Cuttlebug embossing folder (the actual folder is just a sprig of holly but I moved it around on the paper to fully cover), Stampin' Up Red Taffeta, Ranger Glossy Accents.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SCS Color Challenge: My Faves

I had sworn that I would not make any cards today - at least until my craft area was clean - which could easily take the hours that I have to create!  But I saw the color challenge at Splitcoast and couldn't help myself: Krafty White Pizzazz.  Kraft is so natural and Pear Pizzazz is so soft and White is so clean!
I combined the colors with this week's Fall to Layout to create this little scene.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Pennant Parade, A Muse sentiment
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Pear Pizzazz, white, Silver Glimmer
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Pear Pizzazz, ColorBox Frost White
  • Accessories: misc circle, scalloped circle and star punches, oval nestie (to cut the snowy hill), Stampin' Up Embossing Folder, American Craft ribbon, Making Memories bird brad,

Monday, November 28, 2011

Clean & Simple Up and Away Rudolph!

The sketch for today's Splitcoast CAS challenge is wonderfully flexible.  The sample card is rustic and as I browse the gallery I see teddy bears and snowflakes and cute little dogs!!  I went for Rudolph taking off into the snowy sky!

This is my second post for today so keep reading!!!
  • Stamps: Hero Arts Reindeer Stamp & Die-Cut set, Papertrey Signature Greetings
  • Paper: misc green and white, Stampin' Up Silver Glimmer Paper
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Real Red, Memento Black and Copics
  • Accessories: Nestabilities Scalloped Squares, Cuttlebug border snowflake folder, jingle bells, red rhinestone noses and silver twine

Freshly Made Wildflower and Thanks

Good morning everyone!  I hope that all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving had a wonderful and relaxed holidays!  I found myself within enough time to really think about everyone for whom I was grateful and I made sure that I called and/or made cards for them. 

This card is for a particular friend who has recently gone so far above and beyond for me. I asked her to simply "point me in a direction" and she made phone calls, did research and gathered materials!  Her own cards tend toward vintage collage.  I don't have the talent nor the supplies for that style, so I tried to base the card in my own fairly simple style but by adding a text background and some sponging on the edges, I think it takes on a vintage look.

I added a little golden shimmer on the main image and the red panel and the flower centers use a sticker that is full of glitter!

I used this week's sketch from Freshly Made Sketches

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Wildflowers, Stampin' Up Tiny Tags
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Very Vanilla, Black, Cherry Cobbler, First Edition dsp
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Markers in Cherry Cobbler, Always Artichoke
  • Accessories: Sweet 'n Sassy Lacey Eyelet Border die, Stampin' Up Artichoke Grosgrain and Tiny Tags punch, Tattered Angels Gold Glimmer Mist, Mark Richards Candy Bonbon Stickers

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Less Is More: A Bit of Bling

Less Is More is SUCH a great challenge.  Mandi and Chrissie, the hosts, are full of fun ideas and their inspiration cards are always amazing.  But, even more amazing, are the entrants each week.  If you are ever stuck for clean and simple ideas - just pick any week and browse for awhile.  I am guessing that this week will be a particularly full week of entrants as the theme is...


...and who doesn't like bling!!

Check out the shine on this tree!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Stylish Sentiments: Holidays, Bitty Background Basics
  • Paper: white
  • Ink: Delicata Golden Glitz
  • Accessories: Best Creations Red Glimmer Cardstock, Papertrey Merry & Bright dies (I don't have the coordinating stamp set but used the Bitty Backgrounds to add the patterns), misc ribbon

Friday, November 25, 2011

Papertrey November Blog Hop: Warmth & Joy

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday.  My husband did all of the cooking (he doesn't even let anybody in the kitchen!); my brother and his family joined us; we all ate too much and we all played* too much.  Besides the food, the highlight was viewing the photos that my brother had taken on a recent trip to Israel.  Amazingly, he stood in exact places named in the Bible as sites of Jesus' miracles!

A side story...we gave my brother his birthday card which included a wolf image.  Before opening it, he held it to his head (imagine Johnny Carson as Carnac), thought awhile and said "it's a wolf".  My jaw dropped.  It turns out they read my blog on a regular basis and I had posted it early!!!  Lesson never know who reads the blog!

Today, I am playing along with Papertrey Ink's November Blog Hop.

The inspiration photo for today's blog hop is a dream - I wish my home could look like that.  Unfortunately, I am married to a man who prefers a minimalist look to Christmas and my boys couldn't care less as long as there are presents!  But I love the photo because it is heavily decorated by still so fresh and natural.  I was inspired by the clean look of the photo, the warmth of the wood, the greenery and the dangling skates.

I used multiple Papertrey sets on this card.  The sentiment is from Stylish Sentiments: Holiday.  The pine boughs are from Bells & Boughs.  The ornaments are from Tiny Tags and the coordinating die set.  I used Bitty Background Basics to add the pattern on the white and gold ornament.
  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink
  • Paper: Papertrey Pinefeather, Pure Poppy
  • Ink: Delicata Golden Glitz and ink to coordinate with Papertrey Pure Poppy and Pinefeather
  • Accessories: Papertrey Cane Print Impression Plate, misc ribbon

*How did we define "playing" yesterday??
With the turkey tryptophan sleepiness and given many of us had colds, this was our excitement yesterday...a lot of iPad/iPod action and you can see my brother's knees and laptop as he shows us pictures of Israel!  My oldest niece discovered the app Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo - a BIG hit - and my boys loved helping/playing with her.  My youngest niece was doing a memory match game - there were 24! squares on the screen and she methodically found every match!  Amazing!!  I'd love to tell you what my sister-in-law is doing/playing but I think I will hold on to that little tidbit just in case she EVER again shows my brother his birthday card on my blog!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Birthday to Uncle Kurt

Today's Splitcoast Sketch Challenge seemed perfect for a wolf and a rising moon.  Yesterday was my brother's birthday and the wolf seemed perfect.  He and his family are coming to our home for Thanksgiving so I will give him the card then...I'm not late...really....(that's my story and I am sticking to it!)

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Nature Silhouettes, Papertrey Take 3 Summer (sentiment)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Always Artichoke and Shimmer White, Papertrey Enchanted Evening and Dark Chocolate
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Dark Chocolate, Distress Ink in Wild Honey and Mustard Seed (sponged onto the shimmer white circle)
  • Accessories: Tim Holtz embossing folder (trees), Papertrey Impression Plate (woodgrain), Martha Stewart border punch, Stampin' Up Crumb Cake Taffeta, Nestabilities Circle die

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Less Is More: Silhouettes

Although I had envisioned a very different card when I first bought this set, I love that today's Less Is More challenge "forced" me to try it in a CAS style.  Clean and simple cards keep everything in stark relief - black/white, humble/royal, death/life ...

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Season of Love
  • Paper: black, white, Best Creations Gold Glitter cardstock
  • Ink: Staz-On Black
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart border punch, Memory Box star die
P.S. This is my second post for today.
P.S.S. If you are a Copic "user", be sure to check out yesterday's post as I have some special gifts for you!

Jewelry Inspiration with Snowflake Flourish

I generally don't play along with inspiration challenges.  I think it's my actuary/math background.  I like the structure of a sketch challenge or the guidelines of a color challenge.  But I do often look at inspiration challenges and today's inspiration challenge at Splitcoast Stampers pointed us to a fun Etsy store - Singing Cat Studio.  I plan to order a necklace but I am having a tough time narrowing it down!

I had this Snowflake Flourish set in my overflowing box-of-stamps-that-will-not-be-put-away-until-they-see-ink.  I thought it would work well to mimic the flourishes, textures and colors of this bracelet.

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Snowflake Flourish
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Old Olive, Bermuda Bay, Brocade Blue, Canson Gold
  • Ink: Versamark, Stampin' Up Old Olive
  • Accessories: Detail Gold Embossing Powder

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Focus: Coloring with Copics

I am NOT an artist.

I cannot even draw a stick figure that looks right.

But...even so...I am passionately in love with Copic markers. I am a very simplistic user of Copics but they are so easy to use that even my simple methods look good.

So, I have a few "gifts" for you today regarding Copic markers:
1. Some simple examples with tips to show you how easy they can be and how good they can look.
2. The charts that I have created for Stampin' Up matches and Papertrey matches.
3. Links to many other sources that can teach you much more about the basic techniques and can also teach you much more advanced techniques.

Disclaimer: I have not been trained nor certified by Copic, but I do
read all of your blogs and follow various forums.  What I CAN do with
"expertise" is gather all of this information into one post! 
Thanks to all of you for the information that you have shared.

Copics are alcohol based compared to Stampin' Up or Tombow markers which are water-based.  The alcohol allows to fully saturate your paper thus making it easier to develop rich colors and to blend colors.

Copics come in Original, Sketch and Ciao.  You don't want the Originals as they only have a broad tip and fine tip.  Sketch and Ciao have a brush tip which allows you to color.

If you do any shopping you will quickly see that the Copic Ciao markers are significantly cheaper than Copic Sketch.  I started with Sketch markers so kept going in that direction.  The explanations that I can find are that Ciao markers "offer all the features of the Sketch Marker, but in an economical size" - obviously a little vague.  Frankly, I haven't explored any more than that because the one BIG difference for me is that Ciao markers come in only 180 colors while Sketch markers come in 346 colors and I am totally obsessive about matching colors to my papers!

Copics color are identified with a letter and a two-digit number.

The letter defines the color, e.g. R = reds, YG = yellow/greens.

The first number identifies the family within the color.  The second number identifies the lightness/darkness.

For example, the markers R05 and R08 are both reds, they are both in the same family because of the first "0", but the R08 is darker than than the R05.  R85 is also a red but it is an entirely different family based on the first "8" and is not comparable to the first two.

Copics cannot be used to color directly on stamps.  They dry too quickly for you to apply multiple colors. 

(FYI - having said "don't do it", I have seen technique videos coloring on stamps, but it is a royal pain!)


Card Info: Stampin' Up Posy Punch
Stampin' Up Crumb Cake CS and dsp, Razzleberry Taffeta

Saturate it
To get the full depth of color, you cannot be afraid to saturate the paper.

Here's the front of my circles:

Here's the back - totally saturated!

Circular Strokes
Coloring in little circles will give you better coverage.  If you color back and forth, you will be surprised how often you will notice - often not until the card is entirely done - that you have white streaks where you didn't quite get everything colored.

Basic Shading
I am a very simplistic shader.  The links that I have at the bottom of this post give you some very artistic examples of light sources, etc. to create amazingly realistic shading.  I simply shade around the inside edges to make my image appear to have some dimension - for example, the circles appear more rounded - they have the dimension of darkening toward the "back" and lightening near the "front".

1. Give your image a light coloring with your lighter marker. 

2. Before it dries, add your darker marker around the edges.  If you do this right away, the "wetness" of the bottom layer will start blending the darker marker by itself.  Be sure to use circular strokes or lightly draw "feathers" toward the inside - you just don't want a defined line because it's hard to blend. 

3. Color over the whole thing again with your lighter marker. Keep coloring until you don't see the edges any more. Remember - saturating the paper is good! (As I am writing this, I see that my photo does not do justice to the last circle - check out the original card to see what it should really look like!)

Did you notice the gems on the card?  Did you notice that they matched?  Gems and pearls can be colored with copics!!!  Once you get a collection of Copics, you never have to buy a colored gem or pearl again!

Slightly More Detailed Shading
Even without getting overly "artistic", Copics make it amazingly easy to add a variety of colors to an image.

Card info: Sweet 'n Sassy Spring Tulips
PTI Terracotta Tile, SU Wasabi, Basic Grey Curio

Layering up colors like this is quite easy.

1. The first step is to add the highlights in the darkest color (you could lay down a light color first to help blending.

2. Then add highlights in the next color.

3. Color over the whole thing with the lightest color - just color until it is saturated and colors are blending.

4. In the fourth tulip, I went back and added some of the darker color again - I didn't want it quite as washed out.  You can do this dozens of times.  Let's say I add too much of the red, I can color over it again with the yellow and add a little less red.  Copics are very forgiving!

Degrees of Shading

It is often said that if you buy a specific Copic, you should pick up a color that is one or two away from that color.  For example, if you buy R22, you should also buy R24 so you are able to shade.  (See the examples above on Basic Shading.)  I don't necessarily agree.  To save money, you can definitely shade with a single pen.  Conversely, you may find that you prefer a bigger difference in your shading.

1. The first circle is colored with R22.  Then I went back over the edge with the same R22.  There is still a shaded difference!!

2. The second circle is colored with R22, then edged with R24, then I went over the whole thing again with R22.  There is a little more difference, but is it worth it.  I would suggest that if you have a big budget, perhaps it is worth it - but I think the first circle works almost as effectively with one marker.

3. The third circle is quickly becoming my favorite.  I colored it with R22, then edged with R27 - a FIVE number difference.  I like the richer shading.

It's all preference and if you don't yet know what you prefer - start building your collection with single colors and work toward shading colors after you have figured out what you like.

Shadows and Dimension
So far my examples have been filled-in areas.  Copics are also excellent at adding shadows and dimensions.  Again, I cannot emphasize enough that I am a VERY basic Copic user.  I have put links below in which people create true art with perfect shadows and subtle skies.  I believe you can still create a wonderful card with these basic tips.

Card info: Penny Black snowman
Cosmo Cricket dsp, SU Pool Party (glittered), Daffodil, Poppy
Snowflakes are from a Martha Stewart border punch

So, let's break down the shading on this snowman.  It should be subtle, but it makes a HUGE difference!

1. The first snowman has his muffler, hat and the little bird colored.  He's cute, but a little flat.

2. On the second snowman, I have taken a light gray marker and run it around the inside edges of the snow.  This gives the appearance of a rounded edge, giving this guy a little more dimension.

3. On the third snowman, I focused on popping him from the background.  A light line of blue sky makes him appear more "forward", giving it even more dimension!!!

These basic shading colors are a must-have in your collection.  I even find myself shading around solid stamps to pop them from their background. 
Some recommended shading colors are:
   C1 Cool Grey, W1 Warm Grey (there are light grays than these, but I find they tend to totally fade into the paper)
   B000 Pale Porcelain Blue (also B0000 Pale Celestine is a little more subtle so I use it on more subtle cards)
   Y000 Pale Lemon (for a sunny background)

Coloring Faces
There are a few markers that you are going to want to pick up to color faces.

Card Info: The Angel Company Dear Friend
SU Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, Saffron, Bashful Blue, Pear Pizzazz

Sitting here in Parker, CO, I generally have one set of markers that I use for faces.  I color the face with E50, I shade it with E51 and I add rosy cheeks with R20.  The I Like Markers blog has this detailed post on various skin colors.

Did you notice the polka dots on her shirt?  I used a Copic Colorless Blender.  I think this pen has been named incorrectly.  You do NOT need it to blend colors as I have previously demonstrated.  What it does is pick up color.  For her shirt, I just dabbed it around to pick up some color and lighten the polka dots.  I also know that it is used to pick up mistakes like when you color outside of the lines.  Frankly, I have never had much luck with that, although I have seen great demonstrations.  You can see by the close-up of this little girl that I didn't even try to pink up the pink smear on her back!


Does cardstock make a difference?
Yes.  My absolute favorite cardstock comes from office supply stores - Neenah Classic Crest 80 lb. Cover Stock.  I use Solar White for white and Natural White for off-white.  I actually buy it by the ream as I use so much of it, but many on-line stamp stores sell packs of 10 of each color.  Two that I can quickly think of are Ellen Hutson and Sweet 'n Sassy and I know there are many others.

From some of the main companies - I know that Papertrey's cardstock and Gina K's cardstock is recommended.  Stampin' Up's Whisper White is not recommended.  It has a bit of a glossy coat and the ink just doesn't blend well.

Does ink make a difference?
Yes.  As a rule of thumb, think opposite.  If you are water-coloring, use alcohol-based ink like Staz-On.  For alcohol-based coloring with Copics, use water-based dye inks.  And even dye inks seems to have differences that I can't explain, e.g. I get smearing with Stampin' Up ink and copics.  DO NOT use Staz-on with Copics - it's alcohol based and will smear and get into the tips of your markers.

The inks that I use for copic-coloring are Memento and Adirondack.  I have a black pad and a brown pad from each of them that I use everytime I bring out the copics!

Some people do have a problem with printer inks when you are using digital stamps.  I have a Canon printer, I used to have an Epson - and I haven't had a problem.  BUT...I also color a little more carefully - I don't necessarily just color across the image - I pay attention to the image lines to avoid any potential smearing.

Best places to buy Copics:
There are many on-line stores that have multi-packs of Copics that are reduced.  I have mixed feelings about multi-packs as I built my Copic collection based on Stampin' Up/Papertrey groups of colors. Multi-packs could give you a bunch of colors you rarely use thus negating the savings.

Our big box stores - Hobby Lobby, Michaels - do carry a small line of Copics.  When they are on sale, it's a great place to start.

If you are a Papertrey user - they do sell sets of three to coordinate with their various colors.

My favorite online store is The Merri Artist.  Their prices are some of the best, their shipping is reasonable and fast.

How do I budget my purchases?  Where do I start my collection?
1. Are you a Stampin' Up or a Papertrey user?  In the right column, I have downloadable charts of the Copic matches to both of their colors.

2. Do you have a favorite color group?  I really like the Stampin' Up Brights collection, so I would start there.

3. Do you want to immediately start with a coordinating lighter or darker marker (see "Degrees of Shading" above)? 

4. Do you do faces?  If so, pick up E50, E51 (shading) and R20 (cheeks) for basic "caucasian" coloring.  Or check out some of the advanced videos below for other color schemes.  Also...the I Like Markers blog (noted below in "Links") has this detailed post on various skin colors.

5. You want a couple of very light colors on hand for the shadows and dimension.  I like Shadows: C1 Cool Grey, W1 Warm Grey, B0000 Pale Celestine, B000 Pale Porcelain Blue, and Y000 Pale Lemon.

How long do they last?  Are they refillable?
Yes, they are refillable, but frankly, in the four years that I have been "using", I have never had to refill a marker.  I have very little to offer you here - except...if you ever have to refill, before you invest in the equipment and refills, check if any of your local stores do it.  We have a store in the Denver area that keeps all the refills and will do it for a small charge - MUCH smaller than investing in your own equipment and refills!

I use Stampin' Up cardstock and Papertrey Ink cardstock.  I love having coordinated sets - so I have the ribbons, buttons, brads etc for the color lines.  A logical extension is that I have created reference charts for Copic markers.  So...if I am doing a card with Crumb Cake and Rich Razzleberry, I pull out my chart and start coloring!!

These charts are my gift to you!!  Just go the right column and find the DOWNLOAD section.  Click each chart and when it comes up, use the File button on the toolbar to either Save it or Print it.  The boxes on each chart are left blank for you to fill in as you build your Copic collection.  Be sure to print your copy on the same paper that you will be using for stamping so, when you color in the squares, they will be the same color that you will be getting on your cards.

The matches on this chart come from many different sources.  I have studied the forums on Splitcoast, I have studied the blogs of Copic experts and, when I still don't like the matches, I have actually thrown my own "opinions" into the charts.  (FYI - I am particularly fanatical about greens so those blends are all mine.)

It is VERY important that you know that paper does make a difference.  It is possible that something I feel is a perfect match on my preferred cardstock, Neenah Classic Crest (details below) may appear different if you are using something else.  I don't think they will be radically off - but just wanted you to know!

It is handy to have a chart of ALL of the available Copic colors.  Then, when you make a purchase, you can add a dash of that color to the appropriate square in the chart and (1) you don't run the risk of buying duplicates and (2) you can use that chart to find the color that you like.

Sharon Harnist has great charts on her blog.  I use the first "blank chart" of all 346 Copic colors and the 24 Spica Glitter colors to use keep my inventory.

There is also an iPhone/iPod app that easily tracks your stash so you don't make duplicate purchases.  Just search for "Copic Collection" in the app store.


Basic Copic use:

A book by Annie's Attic called Copic Coloring Guide (and also two new books on coloring nature and coloring people) is a very nice resource.  (I have also seen it at Archivers).  It starts at the VERY beginning with types of markers and the coding on each one.  Then it goes through basic coloring and blending tips.  The pictures are nice and the card samples are basic, yet cute.  (Annie's Attic also has a good book called Coloring Techniques for Card Making that includes colored pencils, watercolors and even some basic info on Copics.)

Danielle, on her Neat & Tangled blog, just did this post with a video of her using Copics on a butterfly.  It's so easy to see the idea of circular strokes, feathering and blending when you see it done!  She also says she will be doing further posts on Copics.

The ultimate online Copic guide is the I Like Markers blog.  Marianne is the product director/specialist for Copic markers.  She started a blog in 2008 to demonstrate every aspect of using the markers.  She goes through best papers, best inks, basic colors, etc.  But the trick to using this blog is to start reading it in reverse!!  Think of it like an instruction manual.  Her first posts give you the basics; her recent posts are very advanced.

For advanced techniques:
In my disclaimer at the very beginning of this post, I mentioned that I was not Copic-certified.  If you ever want to really learn about the full potential of these markers, watch the I Like Markers blog for a certification class near you.

You will be blown away by the amazing fall leaves on this post on the Prickley Pear blog spot.  They give a dozen different color combos and samples.

Amy Rysavy, on her Prairie, Paper & Ink, has done dozens of videos on coloring with Copics.  She's in the middle of a series of Christmas cards that are amazing.  Amy is a true artist with Copics (as compared to my simplistic style).  Check out this post and video to see the attention she gives to a face!  Amy's blog is worth watching as her videos are detailed and informative.

This YouTube video with a great demonstration of blending techniques.  She discusses "palette blending" and "feathering".  This video and this one by Kristina Werner are great with faces and hair.

There are hundreds and hundreds of videos out there - I just selected these few to give you a taste of how Copics can work.


I am actually hoping that that is not the case.  My goal was to show you how truly easy it is to use these wonderful markers and create art - even without any expertise!!  They are an expensive investment, but I find that they are one of my most used tools - and I wanted to give you the knowledge and direction to try them for yourselves.

Please feel free to ask any questions.  I may not know the answers, but I will likely know a direction in which to send you!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Passion for Papertrey: CAS Christmas

I have been lurking on A Passion for Papertrey's challenge blog for some time - such great ideas!!!  They are "a place for Papertrey Ink fans from UK and Europe to come together".  That's a little ways away from Colorado, USA.  But they graciously allow worldwide participants, so when this week was "CAS Christmas", I knew it was calling my name.

I had already gone down the path of using this Papertrey set when I saw this week's Splitcoast Stampers Sketch Challenge, so it seemed like a logical fit to play both challenges!

I used a new gold ink pad that is absolutely fabulous.  It's Tsukineko's Delicata Golden Glitz.  Look at this fabulous coverage!

Don't forget to come back Friday for a Friday Focus on Copic Markers which includes a downloadable sheet of Copic marker matches to all Papertrey and Stampin' Up cardstock!!

  • Stamps: Papertrey Ink Bells & Boughs
  • Paper: Papertrey Ink Pinefeather and Scarlet Jewel, misc gold
  • Ink: Delicata Golden Glitz, Distress Ink: Aged Mahogany, Stampin' Up Handsome Hunter (ret.)
  • Accessories: Papertrey Bells & Boughs dies, Sizzix embossing folder

Here's the Splitcoast sketch for today...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thinking of You...Twice!

This week's Less Is More challenge is to create a one layer card with LEAVES

I just got an interesting new leaf set (with coordinating dies) from Sweet 'n Sassy stamps - it has such an interesting pattern in it, I knew it could stand alone on a CAS one layer card.  As an experiment, I used one die to cut a window and a different die and stamp on top.

Both stamps are rock-rolled in a darker color.  Then the top leaf has some Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles.  This is one of my new favorite products as it gives shine and sparkle but in a very subtle way.

Because of my new role on the Sweet 'n Sassy design team, I am also posting today on the Sweet 'n Sassy blog, so I did a bonus card.  The leaf card used a sentiment from a Thinking of You set that is an entire set of various fonts and styles of "Thinking of Yous."  I also wanted to show you a very different look. 

The butterfly is from Polka Dot Silhouettes - I love his shape and knew that he would be unique enough to highlight this simple Thinking of You card.

Leaf Card:
  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Thinking of You, Season of Change
  • Paper: Vanilla
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Pumpkin and Cajun, Limeade and Olive, Chocolate
  • Accessories: Sweet 'n Sassy Season of Change dies, Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles
Butterfly Card:
  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Thinking of You, Polka Dot Silhouettes
  • Paper: White
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Calypso Coral, Basic Gray
  • Accessories: Cuttlebug dotted border, Stampin' Up scallop border, misc pearls

Friday, November 11, 2011

Aviary Jingle Bells

I was so excited this morning when, for the first time in weeks, I had an idea and it came together easily!!  I definitely have been struggling.  I'm still making cards and typically happy with the results - but they all seem to be so much work!  So many false-starts and do-overs and try-agains!

It's a good thing that I had the brainstorm this morning, because I actually had an entirely different plan for today's blog post but I am going to need my teenage son to help me with some blog/PC issues before I can post it.'s some blatant self-promotion...

Coming next Friday...a Friday Focus post on Copics!!  I haven't done a Friday Focus in months.  These are posts that cover basic information with lots of tips and hints.  I've done Friday Focus posts on tying bows, embossing folder techniques, shimmer paint and many more.  Now I have a huge post almost ready to go on Copics.  I have photo tutorials of basic coloring, I have downloads of Copic matches to Stampin' Up and Papertrey paper.  And I have many, many links to advanced Copic techniques.  Be sure to come back next Friday!!

But right now, I am more excited about today!  I love the Stampin' Up Aviary set.  Those little guys and their cages can be so cute or they can be elegant.  I decided to embellish their cages and make them Christmas!!

The first thing I saw today was the CAS-ual Friday challenge to make a tag.  I knew right away I wanted to decorate the bird cages from Aviary for the Christmas season.  (Not many people wake up to the thought that they want to add jingle bells to bird cages??!!)

Then I saw the clean & simple Fall To Layout that had a tag and knew that I wanted to make a card/tag set!

Then at the very end I got stuck.  I was toying with a button in the lower right hand corner of the card but it wasn't right.  I looked around my desk and realized how much paper and ribbon that I had out and remembered that the current challenge with The Paper Players is a recipe challenge.  I looked and realized that I qualified except for the punch and one more dsp.  The light came on!!  I have a jingle bell punch and it's the perfect accent.  Then I used dsp for the leaves and it's so cute.  Thank you Paper Players!
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Aviary and Great Greetings ('to' and 'from'), Papertrey Signature Christmas
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Real Red dsp and CS, Lucky Limeade dsp and CS, Silver Glimmer paper
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Real Red and Lucky Limeade
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up silver cord, jingle bells and scalloped border punch, Martha Stewart jingle bell punch, green ribbon from Hobby Lobby, silver and red ribbon from Michaels

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Inspiration Challenge: Focus on the Puffs

Today's Inspiration Photo in the Sweet 'n Sassy forums at Splitcoaststampers is a beautiful array of chocolates but I was most taken with the puffs on the border!!

I used two sizes of flowers from Sweet 'n Sassy's Polka Dot Silhouettes.  The border is done by stamping once on a post it note and cutting it out.  Then using that post it to mask and layer the flowers.  For interest, I did pop a few and added brads and buttons.

I picked colors based on the inspiration photo: Stampin' Up Chocolate Chip, Barely Banana, Pumpkin Pie and Pool Party.

  • Stamps: Sweet 'n Sassy Polka Dot Silhouettes, Poppies and Greetings (sentiment)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pool Party, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Pool Party, Chocolate Chip, Barely Banana and Pumpkin Pie
  • Accessories: misc. brads and buttons