Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sympathy Cards Continued

Second post for today...that's a rarity! I've been doing a lot of creating lately, but not a lot of updating. I find it difficult to take a break and write when I find my groove to create. If I break from my creativity, it's really hard for me to get back into it afterward. Totally breaks my concentration!

Anyway, I've continued working on the sympathy cards my mother requested and some of them I love and others I'm just not happy with. I'll only share a few them here and try to shore up the ones I'm just not in love with.

Using Painted Petals, I created a cluster of flowers and offset that with a scripty sentiment from Stampabilities. I added a few rhinestones and it was done.

While I had my Painted Petals on my desk, I used the set to make this quick one-layer card with a sentiment from Thoughts & Prayers.

I used an emboss resist technique on this watercolor piece to highlight the foliage on the panel. I stamped another sentiment from the Thoughts & Prayers set and tied a ribbon around the panel to complete the card.

I usually think that butterflies are too happy for a sympathy card, but by using a neutral color I think these pass muster. Add the beautiful scripted sentiment from Stampabilities and it looks rather elegant.

Stamps: Painted Petals, Thoughts & Prayers, Meadow (Inkadinkado), Butterfly Magic (Fiskars), With Deepest Sympathy (Stampabilities)
Paper: Whisper White, Strathmore Watercolor
Ink: Perfect Plum, Wild Wasabi, Early Espresso, Daffodil Delight, Crumb Cake, Sahara Sand, Versamark
Tools: Watercolor paint, Clear Embossing powder
Embellishments: Rhinestones, Pearls, White Organza Ribbon

Mother's Day Part 2

I found this card by Kristina Werner and I just knew that I had to recreate it. I simply love it and I can't describe how much it pulls on my heartstrings!

The only things I really changed about her card were the dimensions (I just wanted a standard card for easier mailing) and the watercoloring. I really don't have a great set of watercolors for fine details, so I simply sponged the background and then colored the bears with the now defunct Blendabilities. (I've ordered my first set of Copic markers and I'm positively bursting to play with them when they get here later in the week!) This sentiment is just precious and I can't put the set away. The bears are so sweet and the sentiments they include in the set are so easy to mix and match! (They're from Mama Elephant in case you're as in love with them as I am!)

After this card, I sat down and played with the images for a while Then I thought, how about a shaker card? I've never made one before and it seemed like it would be fun to try!

The images in the shaker window were heat embossed with silver embossing powder and the sky background was sponged with Midnight Muse and Blackberry Bliss. I used some Simon Says Stamp Moonshine sequins of varying sizes and some Martha Stewart star glitter for the bits in the shaker.

Now that I've put this one together, I can't decide which one I want to send to Mom! They're both just so cute! Good thing I still have plenty of time before Mother's Day to create and play some more!

Stamps: Bear Hugs (Mama Elephant) and Lucky Stars (WPlus9) for the background
Paper: Whisper White
Ink: Pool Party, Basic Grey, Blackberry Bliss, Midnight Muse, Versamark
Tools: Blendabilities (Crumb Cake, Pink Pirouette, and Skin Tone pack), Mini Hearts Die set (Simon Says Stamp), Repeated Hearts Stencil (SSS), White gel pen, Texture paste (Ranger)
Embellishments: Moonshine Sequins (SSS), Shimmer Irresistible Pico Embellisher

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Papertrey March Blog Hop Challenge

When I saw the inspiration for Papertrey Ink's March 2015 Blog Hop, I knew I just had to play along.

That yellow and blue combo is absolutely one of my favorites and it immediately made me think of a bowl of lemons. I'll admit, maybe it's because I've been using that stamp set recently, but I thought the Bowl of Sunshine stamps went perfectly with these colors.

I went for a clean and simple style with this card. I know I've been playing with backgrounds recently, but I thought I'd get back to my roots. You can't see in the photo, but I used a little clear Wink of Stella on the lemons to give them some sparkle and shine. I finished off the simple stamped image by inking on a black border using a pen and ruler.
Stamps: Bowl of Sunshine (PTI)
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Pool Party, Wild Wasabi, Sahara Sand, Early Espresso
Paper: Whisper White
Other: Black pen, ruler, Wink of Stella, Post-It Tape (masking) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sympathy Cards

My mom called me a couple of days ago and asked me to make her a dozen sympathy cards that she can keep on hand for emergencies. I have to admit, sympathy cards are not my forte. I don't have many sentiments that work for sympathy cards and, well, I think they're just a little depressing. So for the next few weeks, I'll be focusing on sympathy cards for the most part, but I'll be taking breaks here and there for a few fun ones as well so I don't go completely crazy!

To start with, I stamped this simple background stamp (random from my stash) on a piece of white cardstock and then trimmed it to balance the size of the stamp. I then stamped the greenery from Kinda Eclectic randomly around the edges (first and second generation stamping). Trim the sentiment onto a small piece of cardstock and back with a matching shade of green, attach the pearls, and you're done.

Stamps: Background (random from my stash), Kinda Eclectic, Loving Thoughts
Ink: Sahara Sand, Mossy Meadow
Paper: Sahara Sand, Mossy Meadow, Whisper White
Other: Pearls

Because I've really been loving my watercolors lately, I used them to  make this card. I used an acrylic block to "stamp" the watercolor background in shades of blue and then heat set it. I stamped the flower image in StazOn Jet Black so I could us my watercolors to shade the stem and the flowers. After that dried, I used Versamark and some black embossing powder to heat emboss the sentiment at the bottom of the card.

Stamps: Happy Watercolor, Loving Thoughts
Ink: Watercolor paints (Artist's Loft), Versamark, StazOn Jet Black
Paper: Strathmore Watercolor, Sahara Sand
Other: Black embossing powder

And now a break for a fun card!

Sticking with my watercolor theme, I painted a swatch on my paper with shades of blue and purple and then laid a stencil over the paint while it was still wet and allowed it to dry. That's what causes those neat impressions in the paint. I cut a tag and heat embossed my sentiment with silver embossing powder and then adhered it to my panel with some foam tape. I randomly stuck some star confetti and pearls around the card for some added interest and "bling".

Stamps: Operation Write Home (Hero Arts)
Paper: Strathmore Watercolor, Night of Navy
Ink: Watercolor paints (Artist's Loft), Versamark
Other: Silver Embossing powder, Star confetti, pearls, white crochet thread

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Experimenting with Backgrounds

As most of you know, I just don't like designer paper. If I want to reproduce a card, inevitably I'll have run out of the paper I used and then I'm stuck. I much prefer to create my own backgrounds so I can reproduce if I love a design.

This week, I've been experimenting with backgrounds. Some were really pretty and others sort of look like a mess, but at least it was fun!

I bought some new watercolor paper so I was eager to get my brushes out again. I created this card by simply dipping a brush in water and then my ink and transferring to a wet paper. I dried the colors and then re-added the ink to create those harder edges that you see. When I was finished with that, I dripped water onto the paper and blotted it away with a paper towel to create the bleached spots. Finish it up with an embossed sentiment and you have a cute birthday card.

Stamps: Fabulous Four
Paper, Whisper White, Strathmore Watercolor
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Garden Green, Pacific Point, Versamark
Other: Watercolor brushes, gold glitter embossing powder

I actually wasn't as happy with how this one turned out, but I think it's because I really don't have a great floral set. I have flowers, but I'm just not happy with them. I'll be looking around for something different. I used a light watercolor wash in the background and then stamped and die cut my flowers. I added a few candy dots (made from perler beads) to the centers of my flowers and then added a few  glossy accents randomly around the card. The sentiment was heat embossed on vellum and attached under the flowers.

Stamps: Flower Patch, Holiday Home (sentiment)
Paper: Whisper White, Strathmore Watercolor, Vellum
Ink: Strawberry Slush, Tangelo Twist, Crisp Cantaloupe, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Garden Green, Versamark
Other: White embossing powder, candy dots, Glossy Accents

I used the same design from my last post for this card, but I wanted to experiment with the background. I used a stencil and two different colors to sponge on the dots. Then I offset the stencil and used a white gel pen to trace the inside of each circle. It gives it a little bit of an optical illusion that creates dimension. I stamped and die cut my bowl of fruit and then heat embossed the sentiment. Finish it with some crochet thread and attach your panel to a card base.

Stamps: Bowl of Sunshine (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Whisper White, Kraft
Ink: Strawberry Slush, Tangelo Twist, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Versamark
Other: Crochet Thread, White embossing powder, Glitz embossing powder, Circle Stencil, White gel pen

Friday, March 13, 2015

Bowl of Sunshine Birthday

Friday the 13th has always sort of been a lucky day for me. I don't know why, but it seems like good things always happen on that day! And today...inspiration struck!

This is just such a fun birthday card! I used a piece of Kraft paper and sponged some Baked Brown Sugar through a stencil (I think it was a Heidi Swapp). I made sure to vary the amount of ink on the card so that it faded toward the center. I just liked how it framed my die-cut and my sentiment. I die cut the bowl from Pistachio Pudding and heat embossed the white stripes on the front. Then I stamped the apples, stems, and leaves and die cut that piece. The die leaves a longer white border on the bottom of the fruit, so it was super easy to adhere my two pieces together for the perfect bowl!

All that was left was to heat emboss the sentiment beneath the bowl (which was popped up with dimensionals) and wrap some off-white crochet thread around the panel. I used foam tape to adhere to panel to a top-folding card base and it was all done! Easy-peasy!

Stamps: Bowl of Sunshine (Papertrey Ink)
Paper: Whisper White, Kraft, Pistachio Pudding
Ink: Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, Chocolate Chip, Versamark
Other: White embossing powder, Off-White crochet thread

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mother's Day and a Watercolor

I started working on my Mother's Day cards a little earlier than usual this year. It gives me a bit of time for some trial and error before I choose the one I truly love.

I used the new Sweet Laughter set for both of these cards. I actually used some DSP for them as well, which is something I typically don't do, but I liked the look behind the panels. I used my markers to color the flowers in this card and stamped the sentiment "I sure do" inside of the card.

I used the heart from the Wood You Be Mine? set to create the inside of the measuring cup. I stamped in 3 different colors in a random pattern. The left side was created with Sweet Sadie Washi tape.

Stamps: Sweet Laughter, Wood You Be Mine?
Ink: StazOn Jet Black, Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, So Saffron
Markers: Pistachio Pudding, Daffodil Delight and Pink Pirouette (Blendabilities)
Paper: Whisper White, Strawberry Slush, All Abloom DSP, Lullaby DSP
Other: Baker's Twine, Washi Tape

I've been experimenting with different coloring techniques over the past few days. Stampin' Up! discontinued their line of Blendabilities because of quality control issues, so my favorite coloring medium is being taken away from me (sob!). Copic markers are an expensive option, so I can't afford them at the moment, but that doesn't mean that I can't find some other way to get the results I want. I had some distress markers in my stash, so I got those out and did some watercoloring on some Strathmore watercolor paper.

It's not perfect, but I think I could get used to this technique. I used the markers to color on an acrylic block and then used watercolor brushes to pick up the color with varying amounts of water to paint on my "cat lady". I think it's kind of cute!

Stamps: Crazy Cat Lady (Art Impressions)
Ink: Versamark, StazOn Jet Black
Paper: Whisper White, Strathmore watercolor
Other: Black embossing powder, Tim Holtz Distress Markers, watercolor brushes

Friday, March 6, 2015

Monogram Madness!

Just a quick detour from card making...My husband and I adopted a new kitten just before Christmas and she's a sweetheart! Adding her to our family brings us up to 2 dogs and 3 cats. I know, that's a little crazy, but I just can't seem to find the heart to say no when I see an animal in need. She was found in a live trap outside of our vet's office. They believe that she was dumped at the RV sales place next door with her litter and that she was the only one that survived. If we didn't take her home, then they were either going to release her again or take her to a shelter. I gave my husband the "sad eyes" and we ended up taking her home with us! I mean, how could you say no to this?

Introducing a new pet to the family is always a trial and error process, but I think we've achieved harmony in our house.

Our Great Dane, Jax, just adores his new sister, Penny. He thinks she's his baby.

And for her part, Penny isn't afraid of anything. She's definitely made herself at home with us.

Okay, now back to the cards!

I decided that I needed some monogram cards in my stash. Sometimes I need to send a card that doesn't need a particular sentiment and I love having some monogram stationery on hand for these occasions.

This one is probably my favorite of the bunch. I used PTI's Drips and Dribbles to create the coffee stains and then added my initial with Sophisticated Serifs. It fits in the with my personality and love of coffee!

This card was made using PTI's Bowl of Sunshine and the smaller letters from Sophisticated Serifs. I absolutely loved how this turned out, so I used the same stamps to create different bowls of fruit for a cute set of 5.

And finally I decided to create some cards with my husband's and my initials. It looks kind of like thank you stationery for after a wedding, but I still love it.

I used the Your Perfect Day and Sophisticated Serifs sets for these cards and I love the way they turned out. It's a little girly for my husband's taste, but when does he send the cards anyway? He'll survive my sending out some girly cards in his name!

Stamps: Drips & Dribbles (Papertrey Ink), Bowl of Sunshine (Papertrey Ink), Sophisticated Serifs, Your Perfect Day
Paper: Whisper White
Ink: Baked Brown Sugar, Early Espresso, Crisp Cantaloupe, Daffodil Delight, Wild Wasabi, Crumb Cake, Pear Pizzazz, Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, Coastal Cabana, Smoky Slate, Tangelo Twist, Old Olive, Calypso Coral, Blushing Bride