Sunday, May 27, 2018

B-Day Wishes

Stamps: SU Hardwood
Paper: SU Hello Honey, Crumb Cake, Basic Black, Early Espresso, Daffodil Delight, Chocolate Chip
Paper Size: A2
Ink: SU Hello Honey, Crushed Curry
Accessories: Sizzix Celebrate Thinlits, SU Detailed Dragonfly Thinlits Dies, Paper Snips, Stamping Sponge, Recollections Black Brads, Tombow Multi Glue, Adhesive Foam Strips, Clear Acetate, Paper Piercer, Darice Honeycomb Embossing Folder
Techniques: Die Cutting, Sponging

This card was made for Try Stampin' on Tuesday sketch challenge #367 with the optional challenge of using metallic accents.

The hexagon right away made me think of a bee hive, so my design elements went in that direction. I imagined there was a hive of bees in an old barn on my grandfather's farm where I used to play back in the 50's and 60's.

I started with a 4"x 5-1/4" piece of Stampin' Up Crumb Cake card stock, and stamped SU's "Hardwood" background stamp on it with SU Early Espresso ink. The best way to use these large background stamps is to lay the stamp, inked side up, on your work surface, then lay your cardstock on top of it. Cover the cardstock with a piece of scrap paper and use your hand to press down all over the background stamp to get an even inking. This allows you to maintain more control over where the cardstock lays on the pattern, too.

I had a heck of a time finding a hexagon that was the size I wanted. No stamps or punches I own even came close! So I used Microsoft Word to create a hexagon the size I wanted, then with a dab of glue, attached it to my SU Hello Hone cardstock and cut it out with scissors.

I used both Crushed Curry and Hellow Honey ink to sponge all around the edges of the hexagon to give it depth like a cell in a honeycomb.

The "hinge" on the card was created using scrap Early Espresso and Chocolate Chip cardstock. I used a paper piercer to punch small holes in the four corners of the hinge after I glued the two pieces together. Then inserted black brads as "nails" in the hinge. This hinge assembly was then glued to the hardwood panel. The sponged hexagon was glued atop the hinge per the sketch.

Instead of a "dot" like the sketch suggested, I attached a honeybee I die cut from SU's " Detailed Dragonfly" die set. I first diecut the bee outline using Basic Black cardstock, then roughly cut an oval using Daffodil Delight cardstock to glue behind it. As an added touch, I roughly outlined the bee's wings onto a piece of clear acetate, then cut them inside the outline to fit behind the black wings outline to give them an extra "glimmer".

The sentiment was cut using Sizzix Tim Holtz "Celebrate" thinlits dies. I wanted to carry over the "bee" theme, so I die cut "birthday wishes, then trimmed off the "irth" from birthday, and used the center of the "e" from wishes as the dash between the "b" and "day". These letters were glued down with Tombow glue.

The card base is SU Hello Honey cardstock that I ran just the front through my Big Shot using a honeycomb embossing folder.

Once I figured out what I was going to do, the card came together pretty quickly. The hardest part was cutting the acetate wings to fit behind the bee. I am giving this card a difficulty rating of "3" out of "5".


Stamps: SU Lift Me Up, Purple Wave Waves
Paper: SU Island Indigo, Whisper White
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Back, SU Island Indigo, Bermuda Bay, Versamark, Various Copic Markers
Accessories: Brayer, SU Up & Away Thinlits Dies, Artfully Scribed Detail White Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Adhesive Foam Strips
Techniques: Brayered Sky, Reflection, Heat Embossing, Hand Coloring

This card was made for TGIF Challenge #161 which required the use of reflections. 
I was inspired by TGIFC Design Team members Elizabeth, Carolynn, and Christy with elements of their cards when I created my card for this week's challenge. Thanks, ladies!!!

The card base is a standard A2 (8-1/2"x 5-1/2") Stampin' Up Island Indigo cardstock folded in half. The main panel where I did all my brayering is a piece of SU Whisper White cardstock is 5"x 3-3/4" matted with another piece of Whisper White cut to 5-1/4"x 4".

I started by using the Splitcoaststampers "Brayered Sky" technique to create both the sky and the water using SU Bermuda Bay, then SU Island Indigo ink. I then used a large Post-It note to cover the sky area, then sponged the horizon using SU Island Indigo so it blended down into the water.

After removing the Post-It note, using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, I stamped the two balloons from SU's "Life Me Up" set in the sky portion of the panel. Having done that, I then stamped the balloons upside down in the water slightly offset from their matching sky balloon. Note that since I didn't want a super dark image, I "stamped off" my the balloon stamps onto a scrap piece of paper before stamping the reflection images. Because the balloon images are symmetrical, I didn't have to use acetate or the flat rubber or photopolymer back of a stamp to reverse the balloons.

The next step was to stamp the balloons again, but this time on a piece of SU Whisper White cardstock. These were the images I colored using Copic Markers. I used a color wheel to help me select the tetrad pairing of colors for the balloons. As I colored each "sky" balloon I had stamped on the scrap piece of Whisper White cardstock, I also colored its "reflection" image in the water portion of the main panel. That made for easier coloring as I went along.

After coloring the reflection balloons in the water, I used my "go-to" 1991 waves stamp from a company called Purple Wave. Using clear Versamark, I stamped the waves offset repeatedly across all the water area. I then used white embossing powder and my heat tool to emboss the "white caps".

As a final step, I used the SU "Up & Away" thinlits dies to cut out the two balloons I had previously colored on the scrap Whisper White cardstock. Because the dies don't fit EXACTLY to the stamped images, they left a white "rim" around the balloons. I remedied this by sponging SU Island Indigo around the diecut balloons so they would blend into the sky. I then mounted each of the balloons over the top of their black sky versions using adhesive foam strips to make them look even more like they were floating in the sky.

I decided not to put a sentiment on the card so that I could use it for whatever occasion I might need it for in the future. The stamp set comes with several nice large sentiments that I can stamp inside the card once I decide to whom I would sent it.

I am rating the difficulty level for this card as a "3" out of "5" just because of all the steps required. None of the individual steps are particularly difficult, but take in the whole, require some time and card.

Thank you again Elizabeth, Carolynn, and Christy for the inspiration!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Beautiful Dragon Birthday

Stamps: SU Magical Day
Paper: SU Blyue Bayou, Bermuda Bay, Island Indigo
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Copics Markers BG13, BG72, B04
Accessories: SU Striped Scallop Thinlits Die, Layering Ovals Thinlits Dies, Recollections Gold Liquid Glitter, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Adhesive Foam Strips
Techniques: Die Cutting, Hand Coloring, Paper Piecing

This card was made for Just Add Ink Challenge #410 inspiration challenge based on a photograph that had all sorts of shades of aqua, and a banner that reminded me of dragon scales.
I started with a standard A2 sized card base (5-1/2"x 8-1/2") of Stampin' Up retired Blue Bayou cardstock folded in half. I chose a shade of blue because I wanted some of the blue dragon "scales" to show through when I did the paper piecing.

First, I stamped the dragon image from the SU "Magical Day" set onto SU Whisper White cardstock using Memento Tuxedo Black ink. Then I hand colored the dragon using some of my favorite Copics aqua colors (Tahitian Blue, Mint Green, Ice Ocean). Where the stamped image had scales I dabbed on Recollections Gold Liquid Glitter here and there. 

I then used a plain oval and a scalloped oval from SU "Layering Ovals" thinlits die set to cut out the dragon and a Bermuda Bay mat.

Next, I used the SU "Striped Scallop" Thinlit Die and cut two sets of "dragon scales" from SU Island Indigo cardstock. Because I imagined my dragon having scales covering his whole body, I angled the die cut scallops to the upper right, and glued them on with Tombow liquid glue just dotting the back of the scale outline a tiny bit, but all over the scale pattern. Because of the size of the die, I had to cut two sets, then piece them together to cover the lower left corner of the card front. After the glue had dried, I turned the card over and used paper snips to trim off all the overlapped scales around the perimeter of the card.

Then came the fun part of using a lot of my scrap die cut scales from this and other projects to randomly fill in the holes of the die cut. I chose SU Gold Glimmer Paper, Bermuda Bay, and Island Indigo scraps. I included gold to go along with the gold glitter I had added to the colored dragon image. All these scales were glued with Tombow.

The last step was to attached the matted dragon oval element to the card. I did this with adhesive foam strips to raise it off the card front for added interest.

I rated this at a difficulty level of "2" out of "5" because it went together pretty quickly, and used up my scraps from other projects where I had saved the "scales" after die cutting.

I think my grand-daughter, who turns 6 in July, will really like a dragon card! She is into fantasy and science fiction already!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Anniversary Memories

Stamps: SU Summer by the Sea, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: SU Groovy Guava, Kraft, Blue Bayou, Very Vanilla
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Various Copic Markers
Accessories: SU Seaside Embossing Folder, SU Layering Ovals Thinlits Dies, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Adhesive Foam Strips, Mini Glue Dots, Button
Techniques: Hand Coloring, Die Cutting

This card was made for Retro Rubber Challenge Blog #87 called "Let's Get Sketchy".
I chose to turn this week's sketch 90 degrees, primarily because I wanted to make an anniversary card, and love the Stampin Up 2004 "Summer by the Sea" set for warm memory type cards. The couple fit a horizontal oval much better than a vertical one.

My base is the standard A2 size cut from retired SU Groovy Guava cardstock, and folded in half. The brown panel is 5-1/4"x 4" SU Kraft cardstock that I ran through my Big Shot using the SU "Seaside" embossing folder. I glued the embossed panel with a liberal use of Tombow and then put it under a lightly weighted book to ensure it dried flat. This embossing folder embosses deeply in one direction, so it tends to curl the paper.

I stamped the couple using Memento Tuxedo Black ink (good to use when coloring with alcohol inks) onto SU Very Vanilla cardstock. Then began hand coloring it with Copic markers. Here are the colors I used:
   Guy: Tuscan Orange (YR27), Light Suntan (E13), Baby Blue (B21), 
           Mint Blue (B01), Peacock Blue (B06)
   Gal:Lipstick Naural (E04), Light Prawn (R22), Blush (R20)
   Grass: Pistachio (G43)

I then used SU "Layering Ovals" thinlits dies to diecut the couple and the Blue Bayou matting. 

Next, I needed the line element the sketch requires. So I cut a Groovy Guava strip 1-1/2"x 4", and layered on top of it an 1"x 4" Blue Bayou strip. They were glued together with Tombow. Then glued to the card front with liberal amounts of Tombow to ensure a good adhesion to the rippled panel.

The matted hand colored image was attached to the card using adhesive foam strips on either side of the vertical panel.

The sentiment panel was stamped onto SU Very Vanilla cardstock using the "Happy Anniversary" saying from the SU "Teeny Tiny Wishes" set (they are discontinued as of 2018, but I bought mine in 2009). 

Again, I diecut the sentiment and it's Blue Bayou matting with SU "Layering Ovals" thinlits dies. These two ovals were glued together with Tombo, then glued across the vertical stripe element using tombow glue. I found a cute rose button in my stash, so used wire cutters and sanding paper to remove the loop on the back, and attached it to the card with two Mini Glue Dots.

I am rating the difficulty level as "2" out of "5" because of all the steps. None of the steps (except hand coloring) were particularly hard, there just a lot of them with all the layering, coloring, and texturing. I think this will make a great anniversary card for my brother and his wife next month!

Metallic Masculine Birthday

Stamps: SU Party Pandas, Hardwood
Paper: SU Basic Black, Crumb Cake
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Stazon Jet Black, Early Espresso
Accessories: Silver Furnace Tape, Darice Steampunk Embossing Folder, Sizzix Tim Holtz Gears Thinlits Dies, SU Word Window Punch, Recollections Screw Brads, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Adhesive Foam Strips
Techniques: Dry Embossing, Die Cutting

This card was made for the Try Stampin' on Tuesday June masculine bog hop.
What's more masculine than a card made with metallic gears, cutout gears, and wood???  The card base is Stampin' Up Crumb Cake cardstock stamped with the retired SU "Hardwood" background stamp using SU Early Espresso ink. 

The metallic panel was created by taping two strips of 1-7/8" wide roll of silver furnace tape (from Home Depot) onto a 4"x 5" piece of scrap cardstock. Be sure to press it down firmly to get most of the wrinkles out. It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth since in the next step you run it through a Big Shot using the Darice Steampunk embossing folder. 

I wanted more contrast, so I used the cool Sizzix gears Thinlits dies to cut out various gears that loosely matched the embossed gears. I made sure to have some of the gears go off the edges of the embossed panel, then trimmed them. It would look equally interesting to not trim them so they went onto the woodgrain card base.

The gears were glued on with Tombow glue. The sentiment was from the SU "Party Pandas" stamp set. I stamped it using Stazon Jet Black ink onto a scrap piece of cardstock I had covered with the furnace tape. After letting the ink dry THOROUGHLY, I punched it out using the retired SU "Word Windows" punch, and glued it to a piece of black cardstock sized to allow two screw brads to be placed on either end of the shiny sentiment panel. I had cut the "tails" off the brads, and stuck them to the panel using Mini Glue Dots (I don't like the "humps" folded back brad tails make). The sentiment assembly was attached with adhesive foam strips to give a bit more depth to the card front.

The card looks more complicated than it is, so I am giving it a difficulty rating of "3" out of "5" just because of all the steps, not because any of them are hard. I think any "tool guy" would appreciate receiving this card!

Please check out our Design Team's great masculine blog hop cards by following their links below:

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Birthday Bloom Spotlight

Stamps: SU In Full Bloom, Endless Birthday Wishes
Paper: SU Whisper White
Paper Size: A2
Ink: SU Perfect Plum, Wisteria Wonder, Pear Pizzaz, Various Retired SU Stampin' Write Markers, Stazon Jet Black, Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Spellbinders Nestabilities 2-3/4" Circle Die, Craft Sponge, Therm O Web Masking Magic Paper, MISTI
Techniques: Sponging, Hand Coloring

This card was made for The Paper Players Clean & Simple Challenge #394 with the theme of "blooms".

Since this is a "clean & simple" challenge, I used only the Stampin' Up Whisper White card base without any layering or matting. I was inspired by Design Team members' Jan Clothier for her sponged spotlight, and LeAnne Pugliese's single daisy blossom.

For my card, I chose the aster flower from SU's 2004 retired "In Full Bloom" stamp set. I first stamped it just a little off center with Stazon Jet Black (since I would be hand coloring it with water-based dye markers). 

Next, I hand colored the flower and leaves with retired SU Stampin' Write Markers:
   Flower Petals: Eggplant Envy, Orchid Opulence, Lavender Lace, Pale Plum
   Flower Center: Ruby Red, Cameo Coral, Summer Sun 
   Leaf: Old Olive, Mint Melody, Gable Green

Then, I stamped the flower and stem again with Stazon onto Therm O Web Masking Magic paper and hand cut the blossom and leaf - trimming VERY close to the stamped lines to prevent halo-ing when I sponged over it. I then peeled off the protective backing and laid these clear thin masks exactly over the top of the colored flower and leaf.

Using a 2-3/4" circle die, I cut a hole in a piece of scrap Whisper White cardstock that was larger than my card front. The card itself was taped to my work surface using painter's tape, then the die-cut hole was taped over it so that the blossom extended beyond the circle a bit. Note: I avoided putting the tape onto the card front in case when I removed it, it might damage the surface. I then sponged the circle (while holding it firmly in place so it didn't shift) using two shades of purple and one shade of green SU inks.

After removing the mask, I stamped the bee from the "In Full Bloom" set with Stazon Jet Black ink as if it was approaching to flower. The bee was colored with the SU Summer Sun Stampin' Write Marker, and a black gel pen.

Finally, the "Endless Birthday Wishes" sentiment was stamped with Versafine Onyx Black ink (since the letters were finely detailed and small). I used my MISTI for placement, and in case I had to stamp a second time. Note that the sentiment is actually two separate stamps, so alignment was especially critical.

I am rating the difficulty level as "2" out of "5" because of the need to mask and hand color. I think it will make a beautiful card for one of my family member's birthday later this year!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ginger Man Holiday

Paper: SU Cherry Cobbler, SU Nordic Noel DSP, American Crafts Jolly Paper Pad
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: SU Quilted Christmas Ribbon, UTE, Heat Tool, Mini Glue Dot, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, SU Daziling Details Stickles Glitter Glue, Paper Snips
Techniques: Heat Embossing

This card was made for Merry Monday Christmas Card challenge #291.

I was inspired by Design Team member Nina Forsyth's card with Christmas cupcakes and two very different designer paper patterns. Thanks Nina!

I started with a standard 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" piece of Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler cardstock folded in half to create an A2 sized card.

The first panel was a piece of SU Christmas color striped pattern paper from their 2014 "Nordic Noel" Designer Series Paper. It was cut 3"x 5-1/2".

The next panel was cut to accommodate two gingerbread men per row. The size was dictated so that the panel had no partial gingerbread men, so it was 2 men wide and 4 men tall (2-1/2"x 4-3/4"). This panel was glued with Tombow on top of the striped panel so it was centered. I then used the glittery Stickles glitter glue to cover each of the gingerbread men's buttons. This takes a long time to dry, so I left it overnight before proceeding on to the next step.

The next morning I cut a 10" piece of SU's "Quilted Christmas Ribbon" and positioned it behind the two pieces of patterned paper, then glued the panels onto the SU Cherry Cobber card front, with the ribbon behind them, using Tombow glue.

I'll be the first to admit that after making cards for almost 20 years, I STILL am "bow-challenged". But with several tries I tied the ribbon into a simple bow.

The last step was to create an embellishment for the card. I decided to fussy cut one of the gingerbread men from a scrap piece of the designer paper, and using Versamark and UTE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) I heat embossed the little guy three times to create a thick shiny embellishment that I attached to the ribbon with a Mini Glue dot.

I debated, and considered many different sentiments, but decided that my card was "busy" enough without a sentiment panel (I even die cut the word "Christmas" and tried it out, but again, too busy).

I am rating the difficulty level as "2" out of "5" only because of the need to allow the Stickles a long time to dry before you can complete the card.

Thanks again, Nina at Merry Monday, for your inspiration to use multiple patterned papers!

B-Day Wishes

Stamps:  SU Hardwood Paper:  SU Hello Honey, Crumb Cake, Basic Black, Early Espresso, Daffodil Delight, Chocolate Chip Paper Size:  A2 ...