Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Carrot Collecting Cutie

Welcome back after a holiday weekend here in the US.  We were lucky enough to have some beautiful weather for gardening and outdoor wandering.  We stay close to home on holiday weekends and let the working people have the highways and parks.  There was a time we were out there scrambling to get away, too.  Ahhh, retirement!

Meanwhile, back in the stamp room a couple of cards were created.  No, I haven't yet indulged in the coloring lesson I purchased.  I'll need a fair stretch of uninterrupted time for that, preferably when the sun isn't shining or my get up and go hasn't drained out from the day's activities.  I'll bide my time.  Today's card didn't take long at all, even though I ran into a snag along the way

She's a Penny Black cutie called "Carrot Collector", and I can thank a friend's generosity that I have her to color up for our little neighbor girl's 6th birthday.  I used Copics on X-Press It Blending Card.  The sentiment is from an entirely different vendor, and therein lies the snag...

The placement of the sentiment directly on the image panel caused it to be partially swallowed up in her hair and the basket.  Tsk, tsk.  I sure misjudged that!  In order to fix it without covering up too much of the image I stamped the sentiment again on separate paper and painstakingly fussy cut each individual word, then fumbled into place over top of the original.  It's maybe not ideal, but, trust me,  better than it was. Much more visible.  The stamped heart is part of the sentiment.

The dangling die cut hearts helped with the balance.  See the pink heart on her overalls, too.

One more fun feature is the blue jean card base.  I brought out a 15 yr old Stampin' Up! background stamp for that.  Where in the heck do those years go?  I stamped in SU's Brocade Blue.  Love the comfy faded look of it.  All supplies are listed below my signature.

Let's visit again soon.  I colored some flowers for Friday, so I hope to see you then.  Take care, and have a good week!

Stamps:  Penny Black Carrot Collector, Hampton Art Celebrate Life sentiment set, retired SU Just Jeans background  Paper:  X-Press It Blending Card, other white for card base  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, SU Brocade Blue, Copics for coloring  Accessories:  Candy Dot, Spellbinders Scored and Pierced Rectangles, Memory Box Precious Hearts

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Whatever Wednesday: PSX Garden

Wednesday greetings!  I've had this image all colored up for quite a while and finally made it into a card.  It's an ages old PSX stamp with no name, just K-1620, and a date -- 1995.  Can you believe that's 23 years?  Good old wood block stamps.

I took a notion to do this no-line style, stamped in Antique Linen Distress ink and watercolored on not my favorite watercolor paper with SU's retired Watercolor Wonder Crayons.  It seriously makes a difference which watercolor paper you choose.  I'll save this paper for backgrounds in the future.

I wanted to show the next photo because I think it's so interesting how different the image looks without the bold black outline.  Because of all the detail in the stamp I would have been better off with a slightly darker outline (and better paper, grrrr), but there's always a next time.  PSX stamps are classics and I'll keep this one forever.

Also, notice the shine on the image panel?  I smooshed it into my Versamark pad and embossed with ultra-thick embossing enamel.  It curls the paper and then when you straighten it out it cracks, thus the cracked glass technique.  However, this time I ran it through my Big Shot, sandwiched between two sheets of card stock and the cutting plates.  It flattened the panel, but it also took away the gloss and left it with a waxy finish.  I was disappointed at first, but then decided I liked it.  Looks laminated.

Gosh, I hope I get to color again soon.  New stamps and new dies are calling out to me, but it's a busy week.  I will make time for something simple, maybe 10 minutes at a time, and a card will eventually get done.  Have a happy day!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hearts and Flowers Anniversary

Hello stamping friends!  I'm a little off this week, having been busy finishing up the last of the anniversary cards per a friend's request.  This one is fun and funky and different, so I thought I'd pop in with it today.  It all started with the sentiment and trying to come up with something different.

Spellbinders Classic Hearts, Heartfelt Creations Sunkissed Fleur dies, and a Poppystamps Lovely Gift Bow.  Lots of color on white with a bit of fun designer paper.  Bright and cheerful!

The sentiment is from an Art Gone Wild Words to the Rescue set called "Variety Pack 1".  See the inside below:

There are a lot of things I'd like to be doing right now stamping-wise, such as working with more not-yet-used stamps, and sorting and perhaps purging some stamps, but most of all I'm eager to start the coloring lesson I purchased from Vanilla Arts.  I've taken a peek at it and can see I have much to learn.  Then again, it's springtime and there are a lot of non-stamping things to do as well.  I wonder how I'm going to fit it all in.

I do have something already made which I'll pop in with later.  Till then...

Friday, May 18, 2018

Flowerful Friday: Birds and Blooms

Hi there!  I have two cards today that started with the die cut sentiments.  I'd cut the sentiments from smooshed-ink backgrounds just to see how they'd look and, rather than leave them sitting around as spare parts, I set to work on some cards.  I call that "cleaning my room".  Any excuse to stamp, right?

The smooshed ink on the first is SU Pink Pirouette and Lavender Lace.  The flowers are retired SU Stippled Blossoms, a go-to set when I don't feel like coloring.  I cut out and arranged on white wood grain card stock with a strip of wood grain designer paper, and scattered some sequins around.  At that point I was disappointed with how high I'd set the sentiment.  I wasn't going to throw it out, but it bothered me.

Well, along came the current Dies R Us "Birds" challenge and I suddenly knew how to fix it satisfactorily -- by adding the birdhouse and birds.  Proportionately they're way off, but, really, does it matter?

The second card uses SU Cool Caribbean and Barely Banana.  More wood grain and sequins.  The sentiment is in a better position so I didn't add any extras.  I was going for more of a clean, if not simple, look when I made these cards.   Actually, they're simple, too, but there was some time involved, especially in the second card.

These are two-step stamps, as I'm sure you can tell, and I thought it might be pretty to do the overlay stamp in white embossing.  It took extra time, but I like the result.

The inside of each card coordinates.  The sentiment is from a Fiskars set called "Make a Wish Quotes".  Lots of great birthday quotes in that set.

ps:  This photo with Wally, his blankie, and the cherry blossoms coordinates rather nicely with the first card, don't you think?

The cherry blossoms are mostly gone from the tree now, and the few that are left are faded and limp, but there's always something else coming along in the garden.  I love spring!

I'll give a full supply list below my signature.  I'm glad you could take the time to stop by.  Enjoy the rest of your day!

Dies R Us Birds Challenge

Stamps:  SU Stippled Blossoms, Fiskars Make a Wish Quotes  Paper:  White woodgrain card stock, SU Whisper White for stamping, Ms Sparkle & Co wood grain designer paper  Ink:  Lavender Lace/Elegant Eggplant, Pink Pirouette/Pretty in Pink, Gable Green/Green Galore, Cool Caribbean, Barely Banana, Versamark  Accessories:  Sequins, white embossing powder, Paper Smooches Happy Birthday die, Memory Box Contempo Birds, Impression Obsession Birdhouse Set

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Double D Challenge: Bling it Up!

It's Double D challenge time again!  Get your bling on and Bling it Up!

Yikes, who made this card?  It's completely over the top fancy 'tween girly, yet I like it in a fancy 'tween girly kind of way.  I'll give it to my friend who has some 'tween girl grandkids.  She'll love it!

Check out our blinged up mood board:

And our bling prize for a random winner:

Are you blinking in the bling?  I love that this challenge prompted me to use this flower bling I've had since maybe 2009.  Hey, that's only 9 years.  Layers, texture, frames, mats, butterflies, bling, and ribbon.  Oh, and a little bit of petite-print designer paper on that skinny frame.

Inside are two lines isolated from an older Stampin' Up! Christmas sentiment.  The full sentiment says, "May love and joy live in your heart long after the season has passed".

Play along and have some fun with us.  I hope to see you there!

Stamps:  SU! Small Sayings, SU! In My Thoughts  Paper:  Neenah 110 lb white, Bazzill lilac, pink glitter paper, Wild Rose Studio Bella designer paper  Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black  Accessories:  Basicgrey bling flowers, ribbon, SU! label punch, 1/8" hold punch, Scotch brand foam mounting tape  Dies:  Joy! crafts Square Frame, Memory Box Stitched Circle Layers (nested to make a frame), Spellbinders Grand Squares (nested to make a frame), Impression Obsession Butterfly Set (small) and Medium Butterflies

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday Fun Day: CAS Christmas Card Challenge

Monday greetings, friends!  I'm playing along in the CAS Christmas Card Challenge today and the theme this month is Snowman.  This is one challenge I never want to miss and thankfully we have most of the month to play along.  I made two of these cards, exactly alike, which brings my Christmas card total up to 12.

Plum Purdy no longer makes stamps, but my friend, Sherri, sent me a bunch of super cute stamped images to color.  This one is on watercolor paper, sentiment included.  I used my Spectrum Noir sparkle pens for coloring.  You can see a smidgen more of the sparkle in the photo below.

Cut with a Lil' Inker Silly Stitched Die, then matted on pink and a lightly textured white card base.  Finished with a Precious Marieke Snowflake Corner.

The inspiration from the CAS Christmas Challenge team is greatly appreciated!

Have a happy day!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Flowerful Friday: Anniversary Card and a Note About Printing on Watercolor Paper

Hello and welcome back!  Today I have the first of four anniversary cards I'm making for my friend's offspring.  I do this every year and it's a challenge to come up with different ideas, but something new came along just in time.

This digital stamp was designed by Julie Koerber and recently added to Power Poppy's Graceful Still Life set.  Julie used Marcella's dogwood branches and made her own clever composite.  She shared the "how to" here.  If you have Photoshop Elements it's not difficult at all and it's fun to play around when you have the time.  Julie writes a good tutorial.  If you already have the Graceful Still Life set you should have access to this image as an additional download.

The image prints in nice, crisp lines with a border around the perimeter.  However, my finicky printer and I had a misunderstanding and it turned out almost no line, with no border.  I had it on the wrong paper setting and was running out of cyan ink.  With my printer it's always an adventure.  I almost discarded the printed image, but decided to have a go at it.  I'm undecided as to how I feel about the results.

I printed on Arches 140 lb hot pressed watercolor paper and watercolored with Tombow markers.  Card size is 4 1/2 x 6 1/4.

Pictured below is my young dogwood tree which was my color inspiration.  This tree, sigh... every year I keep hoping for more.  It's not nearly as pretty as it was in the nursery.  Smaller blooms, sparse, not as pretty a pink.  I brightened everything up in the painted version because, you know, you can do whatever you want on paper.

A note about printing on watercolor paper:  I despaired of ever being able to watercolor a digital image until I learned a trick from my friend, Cheryl Scrivens.  The problem many of us have is that our printers won't take the heavier paper.

  • First, I should mention that hot pressed is finer grain and lighter weight than cold pressed paper, so start with that.
  • Tape a band of regular paper of a weight your printer can handle to the end of your watercolor paper.  I find that even 1/4" is adequate.  The plain paper will be your lead end.
  • Make sure to include that 1/4" of plain paper in the overall size for the setting you're using.  The finished size should be 5 x 7, for instance -- not 5 x 7 1/4.
  • You'll determine which setting to use on your printer in regard to paper type.  Oddly, my printer always works best on the semi-gloss photo paper setting.  I would think "matte", but no.  I have an Epson XP-310, discontinued.  The ink is waterproof, but also works perfectly for Copic coloring.  If and when I buy a new printer I'll make sure it uses the same kind of ink.

By the way, the lattice background is Spellbinders Basic Lattice, an oldie-but-goodie classic.

I'll take my leave now and wish you a happy day!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Monday Fun Day: Garden Scene

Friday is my day for flowers, and Mondays are for cute and fun cards.  Well, today I have cute flowers on a fun card.  The thing is, I cut this Poppystamps Thicket Frame a while back and the lower half didn't cut properly.  Rather than throw it away I cut it down to a square and then this happened.

I used wadded bathroom tissue to apply ink to the frame.  First SU Green Galore, then Glorious Green.  Both are retired, I believe, as they were nobody's favorite SU greens, but I like how they look here.  Smooshed the wadded tissue into the ink pads, then smooshed onto the white card stock.

Completed the scene with Copic coloring and die cuts:

  • Pretty Potties stamp set from Pink Petticoat
  • Impression Obsession Beach Fence, Grass Border, and Cats
  • Poppystamps Thicket Frame

The sentiment on the front is from Power Poppy, and inside is a Stampin' Up! sentiment with more Pretty Potties flowers, another cat, and some leftover grass:

First time use of the cats dies, and one more Pretty Potties stamp and I will have used every one in the set.  Oh, happy day!  Enjoy your week!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Flowerful Friday: In My Thoughts with Watercolored Tulips

Hello!  We made it to Friday and, finally, a card.  I started watercoloring these tulips before we went camping.  I had one bloom done.  I even took along the few supplies I'd need to finish them, but they never came out of the case.  After several days home it was a treat to sit down and complete the painting.

It's not that I haven't colored these Power Poppy digital Tulips many times, but they were printed up and sitting in my digi box which I'm working my way through, so out they came.  Let's face it, it's a beautiful image and I'll probably color them many more times yet.  Marcella's flowers, sigh... need I say more?

I used Tombow markers on Arches 140 lb hot pressed watercolor paper.  The designer paper curve is the negative left over from cutting a landscape die, and it fit nicely with the shape of the tulips.

You can't tell from looking, but the silk ribbon bow lays flat as a pancake and will not interfere with mailing one bit.  I punched an 1/8" hole in the panel and settled the knot into it with a little dab of Aleene's Tacky Glue.  This works best with the image panel popped up as it is here.

The sentiment is another Power Poppy digi -- Winter Pick Me Up.

I have a few things to do in the garden, but I'm pretty sure stamping will happen again soon.  It's coming along much like our spring -- in fits and starts.  As I write this, the sun is shining again after a day or two of clouds.  Must enjoy it while it's here.  It was a long, wet winter!  Have a happy day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The First of May

Hello friends!  Incredibly, it's the first day of May and spring is making an effort in fits and starts.  I promise I'll have some stamping soon, but, as you know, we were gone camping for a few days and I've been trying to catch up ever since.  Just to stay in touch I'll share a few miscellaneous pics of some of the things that have been keeping me busy.

The first is this month's calendar picture, our sweet Wally and LuLu.

As for that camping trip, well, someone was having fun it's plain to see.  We went to a nearby lake resort and had the place almost to ourselves.  Wide open spaces for running:

A lake for splashing and swimming:

A place to rest and unwind and enjoy the view:

A small, but clean and cozy home away from home:

On the fourth day we came home and, gee, it looked so pretty you'd wonder why we ever wanted to leave in the first place, but it's nice to get away.  We came home and appreciated it all the more.

It's not all work and no play at home.  Wally melted on the deck for a while.  He looks like a tired old dog in this photo, but don't let that fool you.  I wish we could bottle and sell the energy he has.

LuLu always looks like a puppy to me.  Maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Really, I'll come back Friday with some colored flowers on a card.  I just need to give myself this little bit of time.  Till then, stay well, and I'll be making the blog rounds to visit you.  I missed a lot in a very few days!