Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Beautiful You

This card was created for Retro Rubber Challenge Blog #93 (#rrcb93) which was a tic-tac-toe challenge. I chose the diagonal from the upper left (die cuts, green, leaves) and the middle horizontal row (stripes, green, one word).

I was inspired by Martha Gomez' card at the 2016 "Around the World" blog hop. I fell in love with the leaves, so incorporated them into my own design here.

This week's challenge required that we choose at least one row/diagonal on their featured tic-tac-toe. Being an over achiever, I chose two! The diagonal of diecut/green/leaves are obviously met with the sponged die cut leaves. I think every house had these growing indoors in the 1960's - their called Split-leaf Philodendron (Monstera deliciousa).

To create the leaves, I simply sponged a row of green, abutted to a sponged row of orange, abutted to yellow across a sheet of Stampin' Up! (SU) Whisper White cardstock, then using SU Early Espresso Ink I stamped the leaf veins from the 2016 SU "Botanical Blooms" set so the leaf veins spanned at least two colors. I then die cut each leaf using the matching die from SU's 2016  "Botanical Builder Framelits Dies". In total, I die cut ten leaves.

The second row of the tic-tac-toe (stripes/green/one word) was met using the green striped pattern paper from SU's "Botanical Gardens" designer series paper. The "one word" requirement was met with the sentiment "BE YOU TIFUL" (I'm pretty sure that's one word :-) The sentiment was stamped on SU Very Vanilla cardstock using SU Wild Wasabi ink. It was cut out first with a Spellbinders "Labels Four" die, then the top and bottom were trimmed off using my paper trimmer.

The leaves were mounted in three layers... the first layer was glued on with Tombow, the second layer was attached using rolled up Mini Glue Dots (to give them some height), and the third layer was attached with adhesive foam strips.

The sentiment was attached with adhesive foam strips strategically placed on the back since they had to span the height of the leaves, and the gaps between them.

The card base is a landscape mode SU Tangerine Tango cardstock. The main panel, after it was assembled, was glued to the card base with Tombow.

I am rating the difficulty level of this card as a "2" out of a possible "5" for beginners. If you are an experienced card maker, then it's a "1". I love the colors, and it was fun to challenge myself to do two rows in the tic-tac-toe. It would be a good card for just about any occasion for a female friend or family member.

Stamps: SU Botanical Blooms, Flower Patch
Paper: SU Botanical Gardens DSP, Tangerine Tango, Whisper White, Very Vanilla
Paper Size: A2
Ink: SU Wild Wasabi, Tangerine Tango, Crushed Curry, Early Espresso
Accessories: SU Botanical Builder Framelits Dies, Craft Sponges, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Mini Glue Dots, Adhesive Foam Strips, Spellbinders Labels Four Nestabilities Dies
Techniques: Sponging, Die Cutting

Anniversary/Wedding Wishes

This card was inspired by the Always Fun Challenge #71 with the theme "Going Around in Circles".

When I saw the theme, I remembered an impulse buy I made several years ago of a bubble die by Memory Box called "Loopy Rings". I thought this would be a great pairing with a champagne glass. I was inspired by a card I saw on the UK Sizzix web site, but it was an undersea theme.

I started with a standard A2 cardbase (8.5"x 5.5" folded in half). I scored the fold line to help me determine how far on the card front I wanted to die cut the bubbles... my goal was a bit more than 50% of the front would be die cut off. I had to use the bubble die twice to get the full height of the card. I saved the die cut bubbles for the next step, and cut a 5.5"x 4.25" piece of heavy acetate and glued it INSIDE of the remaining card front.

Next came the tricky part... I wanted to get adhesive onto the back of the two bubble diecuts, but didn't want to use a Xyron because it always leaves "webs", and didn't want to use glue because the acetate is so unforgiving once you smear glue on it,,, especially inside lots of diecut openings. So I decided to use mounting adhesive sheets that were die cut to the exact same shape as the bubbles. This kind of sheet has a two layers of adhesive separated by a "wax paper" sheet and has peel-able backing on both sides. This allows the sheets to be easily die cut, then peeled and stuck on the back of your white die-cut. then the backing peeled off, and the die-cut adhered where you want it. The trick I found was that it is WAY MORE EASIER to peel the "top" off your mounting sheet after it has been die cut, then stick it on the BACK of your die cut shape, then lastly to peel the backing of the adhesive on the back of the shape. I tried it the other way around and what a sticky mess!!! Do it this way and you'll have success nearly 100% of the time.

The die-cuts with their adhesive on the back where then placed back into their original positions on the front of the card so they fit into their die cut negatives.

I played around with different papers behind the bubbles, and decided on a light red glitter paper. I felt this symbolized love, and provided a nice contrast to the white bubbles. This was adhered to the back of the front panel behind the acetate sheet that I had earlier glued on with Tombow. I considered gluing it to the inside back of the card, but then that left little-to-no room to write a message inside.

Finally, I stamped both the retired 1992 SU "Great Greetings" sentiment and champagne glass from the SU "Cheers to You" set using Memento Tuxedo Black. I didn't feel that the black pattern inside the glass looked right, so I stamped the glass again on a scrap piece of white cardstock using the retired SU Barely Banana ink pad. I fussy cut the liquid part of the image out with paper snips, then glued it over the top of its matching black pattern inside the glass.

This card will be good for either a wedding or anniversary. I am rating the difficulty level as "3" out of a possible "5" because of the care that has to be taken attaching the bubble die cuts onto the card.

Thanks to Always Fun Design Team member, Billie, for inspiring me on a way to use circles on a card in a totally different way!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Holiday Stars

This card was inspired by two weekly challenges:

TGIF Challenge #172 (#tcifc172) which was a sketch challenge.
- and -

52 Christmas Card Throwdown #34-18 which required the use of black, white and only one other color.

Having the sketch and colors decided, made the card design come together pretty quickly. The card base is the standard A2 (5.5" x 8.5" folded in half) using Stampin' Up! (SU) Bermuda Bay cardstock. The matting is SU Whisper White cardstock cut 5.25"x 4"

The main panel is the star pattern pattern paper from the retired 2014 SU "Motley Monsters" designer series paper, and plain SU Bermuda Bay cardstock cut at a diagonal. This was glued using Tombow to the white matting layer. A piece of black and white ribbon was glued using SU Snail Adhesive over the diagonal join.

The star was created by inking the middle sized star from the SU "Bright & Beautiful" stamp set first with Versamark, then with Memento Tuxedo Black ink, then stamping on SU Whisper White. Note, to save paper, I did this in the middle of the white matting layer before I glued the layer onto the card base. I then sprinkled clear embossing powder on the stamped star and heat embossed it with my heat tool. The star was then die cut out using the stamp set's matching SU Stars Framelits Dies. I wanted the star to stand above the card front, so I also die cut another star out of scrap cardboard (could be a cereal box or the backing for a paper pad). This was glued to the back of the stamped star cutout using Tombow glue, then glued onto the card front.

The banner was made by inking the sentiment from the "Bright & Beautiful" stamp set with Versamark, then with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and then stamping onto a scrap piece of Whisper White. I heat embossed it to give the sentiment the same glossy look as the star. Because the sentiment was longer than my banner die, I die cut the banner out by only partially die-cutting the sentiment starting from the flagged end. I then used my paper trimmer to extend the sides of the banner passed the sentiment. I felt the banner was a bit too wide, so used my trimmer to cut off some of the long lengthwise side on both sides to narrow it. The banner was then embellished using a star brad from Michaels. I found it was easiest to first press the 5-brad ends into the paper atop a foam pad to mark were the points would be entering the banner, then using my paper piercing tool to punch the holes all the way through before crimping them on the back of the banner. This prevented crushing of the cardstock when the brad was pushed through it.

The banner was attached with Mini Glue Dots onto the star. To support the tail of the banner that extended beyond the star, I put a single piece of adhesive foam.

Since one of my favorite colors is aqua, this coloring of the holiday card really appeals to me! I am rating its difficulty level as a "2" out of a possible "5" because of the need to heat emboss, and create the diagonal joining of the front panel. Not super hard, but requires some care and attention.
Stamps: SU Bright & Beautiful
Paper: SU Bermuda Bay, Whisper White, Motley Monsters DSP
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versamark
Accessories: SU Stars Framelits Dies, Banners Framelits Dies, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Cardboard, Mini Glue Dots, Celebrate It Black Striped Ribbon, Michaels Black Star Studs, SU Snail Adhesive, Clear Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Adhesive Foam Strips
Techniques: Heat Embossing

Live, Laugh and Love

Stamps: SU Sketches, Kaisercraft Circles
Paper: SU Whisper White Thick Cardstock, Bermuda Bay, Watercolor Paper, Pool Party, Kraft
Paper Size: A2
Ink: SU Soft Sky, Pool Party, Marina Mist, Bermuda Bay, Blushing Bride, Crumb Cake, Barely Banana, Stazon Jet Black
Accessories: SU Seaside Embossing Folder, Aqua Painter, Craft Sponges, Post-It Note, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Adhesive Foam Strips, Jute Twine, MISTI, SU Tear & Tape, Craft Sponges, EK Memories 1" and 1-1/2" punches
Techniques: Watercoloring, Embossing

This card was made as a Design Team card for Try Stampin' on Tuesday Sketch Challenge #375.

Since the sketch required a landscape type layout, I recalled I had some really nice "scene" stamps I bought from Stampin' Up! in 2003 called "Sketches" that would work well. I stamped, using Stazon Jet Black ink, the scene of the lady sitting in an Adirondack chair on the beach looking out to sea reflecting on her life. The scenery panel was a piece of watercolor paper 3.5"x 4.5".

After stamping the image, I used an SU Aqua Painter water brush to color her using SU Blushing Bride for her shirt, skin and conch shell. Her hat was painted with SU Barely Banana and Crumb Cake. Her pants were also Crumb Cake.

Then using a Post-It Note that was torn with a ragged edge, I masked off the ocean and painted the sandy beach with SU Crumb Cake.

Next, I used the straight edge of the Post-It to paint in the sky with SU Soft Sky ink. I again used the torn edge, but reversed to the other side and shifted it to the left slightly to paint the ocean up to the sky horizon line using Marina Mist and Bermuda Bay. Again using the straight edge, I masked off the sky and darkened the water edge slightly with Marina Mist.

My goal was to create an Impressionistic "painting" with the mottled sky, sea and sand. To finish off the watercolor image, I used a craft sponge and corresponding inks to sponge all the edges of the panel to give it more of a finished look.

The background panel is a 4"x 5.25" SU Bermuda Bay cardstock that I had run through my Big Shot inside the SU "Seaside" embossing folder. This embossed panel was then glued to the card base front using Tombow glue. The watercolor sketch was then glued atop the embossed panel, centered and toward the top of the card.

The card sketch required a round element near the bottom edge, so I stamped the lovely Kaisercraft sentiment "Live, Laugh, Love" onto SU Pool Party cardstock using SU Bermuda Bay ink. I used my MISTI to stamp the circle sentiment three times to give a nice solid dark impression. This stamped circle was punched out using a EK Memories 1" punch. It was matted with an 1-1/8" circle of SU Kraft cardstock.

I used a piece of jute twine from my stash and made two loops that I flattened to give them a more pointy look. The ends of the twin were unwound and frayed to make them look more rustic. They were attached to the back of the Kraft circle using the sturdy SU Tear & Tape since they kept wanting to "bounce back" to their more circular shape. The sentiment assemblage was then attached to the watercolor panel using adhesive foam strips on either side of the twine.

Since this card required several steps, including water coloring the main image, I am rating it at a difficulty level of "3" out of a possible "5". I think there are several "everyday" reasons to send this card to a friend or relative since it doesn't reference a specific event.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Christmas Bokeh

This card was made for 52 Chrismas Card Throwdown Sketch Challenge #34-18.
I really liked Design Team member Alison C's blue bokeh card! It made me start thinking about bokeh patterns of lights on Christmas trees. So, inspired by her card (and the fact that I hadn't done a bokeh technique card in quite some time!), I pulled out my retired 1998 Stampin' Up! stamp set "Pines". It is a solid pair of tree outlines, so I inked up the stamp with Wild Wasabi ink and stamped twice without re-inking repeatedly all over my Whisper White main panel. I then did the same thing to fill in the white spaces with Certainly Celery ink. There were still some white areas peaking through the trees, so I used my Aqua Painter and gave a light green coat using the Wild Wasabi ink.

For the bokeh effect there is a great tutorial on Splitcoaststampers. I skipped the watercolor background step since I had already created my Christmas tree background with the pine stamp.

I had kept a bokeh template that I created over a year ago by using different size circles to diecut template holes on a scrap piece of acetate . I used this to sponge circles randomly with Inkxpressions Pigment White ink over the entire pine panel. It's important to use a heat tool to blow dry the circles before stamping other circles over the top of them, or else you ruin the circle outlines underneath. This inkpad was not as juicy as it once was, so it gave very light coverage of the pine trees. After drying it, I then used the same template with Stazon Opague Cotton White ink to make circles that approximate the look in the sketch pattern of circles of the challenge. Again I dried this layer before proceeding to the next step.

The "Merry Christmas" sentiment is from the retired 1992 SU "Great Greetings" set. I first inked the stamp with Versamark, then with SU Garden Green ink before stamping onto the lower right corner of the main panel. I then sprinkled clear embossing powder over it, and heat set until it was nice and glossy. The dark green isn't too starkly different than the background pines, so it complements rather than takes away from the feel of the card.

The main panel was matted with SU Cherry Cobbler cardstock using Tombow glue, then glued to the SU Garden Green cardbase.

It was fun to do the bokeh technique again. It reminded me I need to get some new white ink pads! Thanks again to Alison for the inspiration!

I'm rating the difficulty level of this card as a "2" out of a possible "5". Merry Christmas!

Stamps: SU Pines, Great Greetings
Paper: SU Garden Green, Cherry Cobbler, Whisper White
Paper Size: A2
Ink: SU Wild Wasabi, Certainly Celery, Inkxpressions Pigment White, Stazon Opague Cotton White, Versamark, Garden Green
Accessories: Craft Sponges, Clear Embossing Powder, Spellbinders Circle Dies, Heat Tools, Acetate, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Heat Tool
Techniques: Bokeh, Heat Embossing

Striped Merry & Bright

This card was made for
Try Stampin' on Tuesday Sketch Challenge #375 with the optional theme of "stripes".

When I saw the sketch and optional theme, my mind immediately went to a Christmas card! August is the perfect time to start making your holiday cards!

I based my color scheme on the beautiful retired 2014 Stampin' Up "Nordic Noel" Designer Series Paper. So the card base is SU Pool Party, the front panel is SU Real Red, and the mat for striped panel is Whisper White. All layers were glued using Tombow glue.

I had some really pretty glitter paper that was a light blue, so used that with my SU "Stars Framelits Dies to cut out two of the smallest stars, and one of the next to the smallest stars in the die set. The backing on the glitter stock is "plastic-y" so I had to run the dies through about six times to get a good cut. They were attached to the left side of the card front using Tombow glue.

Finally, the words "merry & bright" from the Sizzix Tim Holtz die set were used to cut out two sets of red cardstock, and one set of Pool Party cardstock. These three layers were glued together with Tombow glue, and attached to the card front also using Tombo.

The card came out pretty well. At first I hadn't planned on stacking the sentiment words, but without a red "shadow" behind the Pool Party letters they tended to blend into the striped background. The layers made the sentiment stand out more.

I am rating the difficulty level of this card at "2" out of a possible "5". The only reason is the time and carefulness needed to glue the sentiment words atop one another. An way to make it much easier is to use a craft sponge dipped in glue to lightly coat the back of the words.

Merry Christmas in August!!!

Paper: SU Pool Party, Real Red, Whisper White, SU Nordic Noel DSP, DCWV Holiday Glitzy Glitter Stack
Paper Size: A2
Accessories: SU Stars Framelits Dies, Sizzix Tim Holtz Seasons Greetings Thinlits Dies, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Adhesive Foam Strips
Techniques: Die Cutting, Layered Diecuts

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Woman's Place is at the Beach!

This card was made for Retro Rubber Challenge Blog #92 (#rrcb92) whose theme is "Life's a Beach").

   - and -

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge #182 with the theme of "feminine anything goes".

I have a 1991 stamp that is just perfect for making ocean waves,,,, and I've discovered it does a fair job a making sandy beaches, too! This stamp is a wood mounted "waves" pattern made by a company called Purple Waves in Ventura, California. I can't find them online, so they must have gone out of business. But thank goodness I found this great stamp before they did!

I used the emboss resist technique for both the ocean and the beach. This technique consists of stamping with Versamark, then heat embossing with either clear or colored powder. After the card cools, you can sponge colors over the top of the heat embossed area to allow you to see through the embossed pattern to the cardstock color below, or to complement the color of your embossing powder. For my waves, I used white embossing powder. 

For my beach, I turned the stamp "upside down" so the peaks ran the mirror image of the ocean waves. Then I first inked my stamp with Versamark, then with SU Crumb Cake before sprinkling clear embossing powder and heat setting.

The ocean was sponged with SU Tranquil Tide, Bermuda Bay, and Marina Mist inks. I used a Post-It Note to mask off the sky and the beach before starting to sponge the water.

The beach was sponged with SU Crumb Cake and Early Espresso.

The sky was created by sponging SU Marina Mist ink (using a Post-It Note mask to cover the ocean) lightly, then sponging once again using a scallop circle diecut to form clouds.

The Adirondack chair was made by die cutting three copies of the chair die from the SU "Seasonal Layers" framelits die set, and gluing them stacked atop one another with Tombow. They were attached to the card front also with Tombow.

The sign was made using a weathered wood pattern from the SU "Wood Textures" designer series paper. I stamped the multi-word sentiment from the 2017 retired SU "In the City" stamp set using SU Early Espresso ink. I used paper snips to cut a rough edge on the two sides of the sign to make it look more weathered. The sign was attached to the card front using two stacked layers of Mini Glue Dots to raise it slightly off the paper for dimension.

The finished front panel was then glued to the SU Tempting Turquoise card base (4.25"x 11" folded in half to form a top folding card).

I am rating the difficulty level of this card as a "2" out of a possible "5". All the steps are very easy, and sponging is such a forgiving technique for even the beginner.

Stamps: SU In the City, Purple Wave Waves
Paper: SU Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Word Textures DSP
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Versamark, SU Tranquil Tide, Marina Mist, Bermuda Bay, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso
Accessories: SU White & Clear Embossing Powders, Craft Sponges, SU Seasonal Layers Thinlits Dies, Paper Snips, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, MISTI, Mini Glue Dots, Post-It Notes
Techniques: Heat Embossing, Sponging, Emboss Resist, Cloudy Backgrounds

Beautiful You

This card was created for Retro Rubber Challenge Blog #93 (#rrcb93) which was a tic-tac-toe challenge. I chose the diagonal from the u...