Bear-y Cute!

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I’ve has a fairly productive card-making weekend.  I was taking a little break from Valentines and decided to top up my stash of birthday cards.  I specifically focused on making cards using paper I’ve had for a while with new stamps that haven’t been inked.

I got this Whipper Snapper stamp before Christmas but only managed to get it cling-foam mounted (I buy the bare rubber and mount the stamps myself to stretch my stamp-spending budget) Saturday morning (along with 13 other stamps – I hate cutting the cling foam so I save the stamps up and do them all in one session).

I’m trying to use some of my older Basic Grey paper as well as some K&Co paper – these are the two brands I tend to buy a lot of so it made sense to start with them.  I’m much more selective over what paper I buy now but there are still a lot of options from my “collecting” phase.

Here’s the card:

Of the half-dozen cards I made on Saturday, this one was my favourite.  It was a fun image to colour and the paper was so cheerful that it was very easy to embellish the card once the image was matted.  Now that I’m using a different camera I hope the pictures are doing my cards a little more justice these days (thanks, Rich).  I think you can even see the glitter I used on the scoops of ice cream –  I know you can see it on the prima flower and the centre brad. 

The paper on this card is Carolyn Gavin paper by K&Co.  It’s amazing and I hope she comes out with more some day.  It’s a great blend of funky, retro, fresh and “green” (as in earth-friendly).

My image was coloured using my own “hybrid” method of watercolouring.  I have been using reinkers instead of markers which makes for a much brighter wash of colour and I’m still learning the ropes (not happy with the “sky” colouring – too harsh!).  I went back over some of the shadowed areas with an SU marker to give those areas a little more definition.  I’m having trouble watering down the aquapainter to the right level for shading.

The sentiment is from SU’s Crazy for Cupcakes set and is my go-to sentiment whenever I make a card using an image with dessert-type foods.  I used my newest SU punch (got it in December with my birthday SU order) – you’re probably going to see this punch used fairly often for sentiments.  I can’t be bothered using Spellbinder dies for sentiments so punches are the obvious alternative.

Lots more to share this week so please check back!  Comments are always welcome!

I’m Not “Lion”…

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I cranked out 11 sets like this (well, the chipboard animal is different on each one) but am only sharing 2 on the blog (who needs to see 11 of the same thing?).

I really like the new K&Co Kazoo line (much more than the new Valentine themed papers) and bought the paper last weekend.  I couldn’t resist buying a package of the chipboard shapes either.  Those clever marketing people HAVE to stop packaging things in animal-shaped containers!

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the chipboard but there was a sheet of die-cuts in the paper pad and I was determined that I would use them for something (usually the stickers/die cuts in any collection I buy get ignored) so I used them to make some 4X4″ Valentine cards and also did some matching notepads.

Here’s a shot of the Lion set and the Robot set (those were my favourite chipboard shapes):

I had a little trouble with the light in these pictures but you can see that the paper is very cheerful!  I think the paper on the cards is actually from the Valentine pad – it’s the flip side of a pattern with very busy hearts on it.  The sentiment/image on each card was made by cutting down the die cuts in the Kazoo pad (They were like mini valentine’s with To/From on them – the kind we used to give out in school).

Incidentally, there are lots of patterns in the Kazoo collection that are not specific to Valentine’s Day. (and you’ll be seeing some of them on cards very soon!)  I’m hoping to find a smaller pad of the paper but my M’s only had the 12X12.

Enjoy your weekend!

Rockin’ Horse

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A little break from the Valentine’s today.

This card is a “unisex” baby card.  I know green is a bit predictable but I do like to pair it with orange for a baby card that stands out.

The patterned paper is My Mind’s Eye.  I got the 12X12 version at eP but found a “UK exclusive” when I was in England back in October and couldn’t resist picking up the 6X6 version as the smaller scale of the patterns is so much better for cards – never mind that I had to pay in £ what I would have paid in $ back home.  Worth every penny!

I CASE’d a card by Cammie (Carolyn King) changing pretty much everything except the general layout.  Her card was square and had a few more details than mine (and was very cute!) but I liked the basic concept enough to borrow the blueprint. 

Here’s the result:

The little rocking horse is from a Hero Arts set.  I love their stuff and I’m trying to avoid checking out their latest releases.  I know they’ve got some really cute bigger stamps in their newest catalogue (in particular a cupcake and a teacup that I’d love to own) but I need to try to get more mileage out of the stuff I already own and I’m making a little progress in that department since I’ve changed craft rooms (more space = better layout!)

I’m taking a night off from blogging tomorrow but I’ll be back at it over the weekend and will have more to share next week.  My little stamping hiatus did me a world of good.

Cupid

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While moving from my old craft room to my new one (which I’m still doing) I “discovered” a package of cardstock that I received at no charge.  It’s from the bold brights family of colours at Stampin’ Up – a family of colours I don’t actually use.  Well, I do use one colour from that family – real red – mostly at Christmas time.  Anyway, I discovered this package of lovely lilac (barf!) and decided to try to use some on a few projects.

As I’m currently making Valentine’s, it’s not really that hard to incorporate a shade of purple that is akin to a sweet tart candy.  I also found a sheet of Valentine’s paper that has a similar colour in it so the only thing left to do was pick a layout.

Surprisingly, it took me ages to come up with a card just because I was using a different colour.  I finally found a layout used by sf9erfan on SCS and here’s what I came up with:

At first, I discounted this layout as I thought it would be too time consuming running all those dies through my Cuttlebug.  However, by actually taking a moment to think about it I realized I could cut three shapes at a time because they were all different sizes so I didn’t need to re-use the same die over and over. (this is not rocket science but I make less complex cards generally so these shortcuts are not second nature to me).

I wasn’t completely happy with the card when it was finished so I spritzed a little purple ink on the white patterned paper to remove some of the emptiness.  I still think it’s missing something (ribbon?) but I’m going to leave well enough alone – besides, I’m not sure I have anything that will go with the lilac paper.

Hopefully back tomorrow with something else to share.

Mwah!

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Ah, that’s better!  My last two posts were done on my netbook (as is this one) but I didn’t have a mouse and was using the touchpad and keyboard shortcuts to format pictures etc.  Very time consuming.  Tonight, on the way home from work we picked up a new cordless mouse at Staples (I was holding out for a jade green one to match my netbook but I can’t seem to source one.  The only green one I can find is NOT the shade of green I like.  Next time I’m in Toronto I’ll have to try to find one. (but those that know me are well aware that I won’t fork out even more money for a second mouse)

I needed to take a break from the cutesy K&Co valentine’s papers so I made a card using Basic Grey’s Blush line.  I have a lot of this left over from a year or so ago and I like it just as much as I did when it first came out.  BG is my favourite paper “artistically” speaking but it can be difficult to match to a stamp unless you’re into flowers etc. (I think I can count on one hand the number of floral cards I’ve designed in the 5 years I’ve been doing this).

Here’s today’s card:

The deets: BG Blush paper (duh), Stampin’ Bella Kissy Face stamp (not sure if that’s right – don’t have the stamp in front of me – the craft room is still in slings), close to cocoa cardstock, foam heart from M’s. flat backed pearl to dot the “i” in Kiss.  Cuttlebug and Nesties, reinkers, aquapainter.  The dress on chickie is paper pieced from the BG paper and the hearts on her dress are flocked.  I also added a little rickrack (is that how you spell it?) as I thought something was lacking after I finished the card.

Must motor.  Lots to do to get this room fully functional.  Last night saw the addition of a blind for the window and a keyboard tray for under the counter – I decided not to bring my computer desk with me to the new space – it’s fairly rickety at this point and it has traditionally been a bit of a dumping ground for bills and odds and ends.  Theoretically, I’ll have less work area on the new countertop as the computer, printer and cricut will be sharing it (though it is 3.5 feet longer than the old one) but I’ve got big plans for later – when time, budget, and the patience of my husband will allow.  That will give me another good working area to play with.  In the meantime, I have to hide the evidence of a serious paper addiction.  Even I didn’t know I had this much patterned paper and cardstock.  I’m going to have to plant an entire rainforest in penance for contributing to the demise of so many trees!  I think only 2 of my paper pads are mostly recycled paper.

Back tomorrow with a couple of notepads/cards for Valentine’s Day (Hey, that’s the theme for the next few weeks – deal with it!)

Float My Boat (aka, no new stamps for me)

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To anyone who reads my blog (plus my husband) it is obvious that the last thing in the world that I need is another stamp or another sheet of patterned paper.  In fact, that’s the main reason I just moved to a new room in the house – the old craft room just could not handle the sheer abundance of crafting paraphernalia I own.

Luckily for my craft room – and my wallet – I could not purchase a stamp set that I wanted from PTI because it was out of stock.   That might not sound like a big savings on money or space but you need to understand that I think PTI’s shipping is very high so I was placing an order that made the shipping cost “worth my while”.  This translates to “I was going to buy over $150.00 USD worth of stuff”.

Anyway,  I had my heart set on that stamp set and decided I’d wait until it was back in stock to place an order. 

During my cooling off period, I realized I could probably replicate some of the components of the set.  The first example of my innovation is the “Love is in the Air” card I made over a week ago.   Exibit B of my gosh-darn cleverness is today’s card.  Have a look:

It’s a bit of an unusual Valentine’s combo – pink and grey – but I think it works. 

I tried a different embellishment on this card (don’t know if you’ve clued in to my style – simple card with one semi-complex embellishment) by making a miniature version of the pom pom flowers I’ve seen on Dawn McVey’s site.  I don’t know how well this guy will fit in an envelope but we’ll see.

The sentiment is computer generated and the boat is from SU’s Putt-Putt set.  I think I mentioned this in my other post but, in case I didn’t, this is a great way to use some of the smaller images from my neglected collection of stamps.  I rarely ink up the small stamps any more so any reason to get a little more mileage out of them is great.

Dare I say I’ll be back tomorrow with another Valentine card?

Henry The Mouse (and stuff about my house)

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Whew!  Back in the saddle!  Well, it’s not the same saddle I used to be in but I have a craft room once again! 

I am still in the process of organizing my things in my new space and there is still a bit of work to be done (shelves in the closets, doors on the closets, finish the trim, hang the blind, move my computer/printer/cricut, etc.) but I have a work space so I can finally get going on my Valentine’s Day cards.

I did make a few cards last weekend before we dismantled my room but I’ve been too busy to photograph them.  I managed to take a few pictures today (still learning the new camera too) so I’ve got something to blog about for a few days…

I am using a new K&Co paper pad – it’s 12X12 – they didn’t have anything smaller at M’s – it was the only Valentine’s paper they had when I went there last week.  I wasn’t too impressed with it but the papers are certainly easy to mix and match.  Here’s my card:

For me, this is a LOT of layers.  I like to keep things simple but the patterns were kind of busy so I felt they needed to be matted with some green cs (Kiwi Kiss).  I hope you can tell that I’m using a different camera.  This was taken this evening in my new room which is in the basement.  

I used SU reinkers and an aquapainter to colour the image (my usual method is to use SU markers scribbled on a palette and pick the ink up with an aquapainter.  I got a bunch of reinkers for my birthday in December and, while there is a bit of a learning curve, I am enjoying the vibrancy of the colours.

Back tomorrow with another card – it’s a take on the new PTI Tiny Treats set.   I hope to have some before and after pictures of my craft space but the room is not done yet so maybe next weekend.

Love Is In The Air

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Happy New Year (give or take a week!)

My poor blog can only be updated when the planets are in alignment this year!  I have had so many changes in my routine that impact blogging – it makes my head spin!

Aside from my annual break from making cards (I make a lot of paper crafts at Christmas and get a little burned out by it so I take a little rest before starting the Valentine’s Day projects) there are 3 major reasons I have nothing to share on the blog.

I just got a new computer as my old one has been limping along for ages.  My husband has been after me for about 6 months to get a new one but I said I’d wait.  There was an after Christmas sale on a decent HP so I decided to bite the bullet and fork out the money for a new CPU.  The new one is running Windows 7 so I have some navigational changes plus I no longer have the same software I had before (the version of Office I was running came loaded on the computer so I couldn’t transfer it over).  I’m not computer illiterate but I don’t like technology change very much.  I get comfortable with how I do something and am slow to convert to the new way.  It’s a lack of patience issue.  The keyboard is also very different  – the keys are flat to the board and I’m used to the ones that stick up with their excellent “finger wells”…keeps my fingers in the right place.  I’m sure I’ll get used to it but I am using the backspace key much more than I used to.

I also got a new camera for Christmas.  I’m slowly trying to learn how to use that as well (another huge technology change for me) in hopes that my card pictures come out a little better.  It’s still a point and shoot camera but it has a white balance which is the major obstacle for me when taking pictures.  I have a love/hate thing going with it at the moment.  It’s another item Rich was bugging me to get but I kept saying no.  He gave it to me at Christmas even though I told him I don’t want one.  I was kind of annoyed but he told me that my card pictures are horrible and that I NEED a camera.  I know he’s right but all these changes are KILLING me!!!!  😉

The final BIG change is that we’re in the middle of creating a larger space for my studio.  I’m currently in a tiny room – I don’t have a problem with using a small room and I do appreciate having a personal space for my card-making but I’ve simply outgrown the room now that I have a fairly impressive supply of papercrafting materials and tools.  There’s just nowhere left to put all my things!  (though a supply purge and a 12-step program for paper addiction would help)

I wasn’t going to mention the new space until it was finished (it’s taking forever!) but I am at a point where I have to start boxing up some things to move them to our basement and I might not be able to make cards for a while.

I did CASE a card today so I could play with the settings on my new camera.  I’m not thrilled with the card but I was trying to come up with a substitute for the cute valentine’s set that Papertrey Ink has created.  I was going to order the stamp set but they are currently sold out.  I saw a cute card from one of the PTI design team members (Debbie Olson) and used her card as the inspiration for mine.  (NOTE:  As with any proper CASE, I’ve changed the paper and some of the design elements but have used the same essential layout and a similar stamp – one should never blog about a card they copied exactly from someone else)

Here’s my card:

It’s not near as cute as the original but I think I got the essence of the stamp set and I made something to use for camera practice. 

Supplies Used:

Cosmo Cricket “The Boyfriend” paper, SU Putt-Putt stamp set, computer generated sentiment, Kiwi Kiss cardstock, Old Olive ribbon, Basic Grey button, hemp, Spellbinders die, SU ink, aquapainter.



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