Teacher, Teacher, can you teach me…

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Whew!  The banner is a little larger than normal today! 

When I’m making cards, I don’t enjoy using a lot of layers (though other people’s multi-layered cards are amazing!) as I’m not the most patient person in the world.  I like to make things as nice as possible without a lot of fuss and I generally try to keep the focus on the stamped image. 

One thing I DO like to do is to make a unique embellishment – it’s my way of making up for an otherwise boring layout.  Sometimes I am actually successful and today (IMHO) is one of those days!  I suppose I can show you the card and let you be the judge but I think I rocked the embellie this time around:

This card uses Teacher Anya from The Greeting Farm.  I have a handful of these images and I like them because they are fun to colour and they don’t have a lot of fussy lines to them which also makes it easier for paper piecing and cutting out the entire image.  More stamps should be like this!

One thing I don’t have is a lot of school-related paper but there was some suitable paper in my Cosmo Cricket “The Boyfriend” pack that I actually got as a Christmas gift last year.  I cut out a few pieces of like-themed paper and inked them up and crumpled them a bit.  Then I used my neglected spiral punch on the notebook paper to give the card a little more interest.

The embellishment is an ancient spiral clip, some gingham ribbon, a red button, and twine.  To ensure that you, my faithful readers, will gaze in awe at my little creation, I added the sentiment underneath it. 

Now, scroll back up and look at my embellishment again…then leave me some love!  😉

My Three Dads…

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Okay, actually my third Father’s Day card (and still praying for inspiration for the last one!)…another gihugic image from Whipper Snapper.

I’ve done a barbeque theme, a fishing theme and now we are on to the predictable GOLF theme…this is a really cute image and once I cut it down as small as I could get it I decided a square card would be the way to go (incidentally, I’m trying to find a good source for card envelopes in Canada that doesn’t charge mega bucks for shipping – if there’s anyone in NL reading this and they want to go in on an order of envelopes, let me know!).  I used some older Cosmo Cricket paper as my manly paper stash is small and I cracked open the Copic markers again for colouring.

I’m really enjoying using smaller pieces of paper on my cards…it’s something I’m focusing on right now to get the pile of scraps under control.  Having said that, I’m sure I’ll be doing another scrap/image giveaway in the near future.  It was really fun to do a few weeks ago and I’m hoping the recipients managed to make something nice with their happy mail.

As the images I’m working with are so large, I’ve kept the embellishments to a minimum.  The sentiment on this card is another stamp that I cut apart to make it more versatile.  “Have Fun” was all on one line but by cutting the words apart I’ve made it much easier to change the position of the words.  Stacking the words on top of each other works so much better when you want to use a circle!

I don’t know if you can see the paper piercing in the bottom left-hand corner.  It was a good way to add a little interest without bulking up the card.  I used to do this all the time but rarely think of it these days.  Another great technique that’s fallen by the wayside.

Don’t forget to drop by tomorrow…I’ve got a teacher card to show you.  (incidentally, I’m playing with the layout of my blog a little so if you see sidebar stuff moving around, it’s not you, it’s me!)

Dad Card Number Two

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Well, I’m finally back on track (for now) with my Father’s Day Cards…I’ve been off work the last three days with a bad back and couldn’t even THINK about working on cards until today.  I even had to cancel a trip to PEI for a conference and I was really looking forward to it.  I’m still not 100% better but I was able to spend a little time in my craft room though the thought of taking more pills and lying down for a couple of hours sounds marvelous right about now.

The worst of it all is that I had a dozen ideas for cards while I was lying in bed (reading Harry Potter novels and sleeping)…it’s always the way.  I haven’t been able to translate my thoughts into any cards yet as I simply HAD to spend some time designing for Father’s Day.

Here’s card number two:

I used some Basic Grey Recess paper and another of my new Whipper Snapper stamps.  It took a while to colour these images (I did four) with my prismacolour pencils.  I think they were happy to be used.  Now I’m neglecting water colouring…it’s hard to find a balance with colouring mediums – there’s just so much choice with this hobby. (ask my wallet!)

The sentiment was created from some Stampendous stamps – the word “day” is actually from a stamp that says “today” but I cut it apart as I thought I’d get more use out of the word day.  I do that a lot.  I have no problem altering my stamps to suit my needs.  If I think I’m going to use it more by removing part of it or cutting two images apart, I just go ahead and do it.  I can always put them back together fairly easily – either by placing them side by side on a block if they are acrylic or by using my stamp-a-ma-jig if they are rubber.

Be sure to check back tomorrow…I’ve got card number three ready for action.  I still have one more to go but inspiration has not struck and I want to play with some other stamps that are begging for attention.  If I do everything that I’ve got in mind, I’ll have about 2 weeks worth of cards to show off!

It’s all about colour…

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These copic markers are making me search my paper stash for bright patterns to use on cards.  I can definitely see that I am not a lover of bright colours. (I knew that but seeing literally thousands of sheets of paper and hardly anything bright really puts that in perspective!)   However, I did manage to find some Basic Grey paper with lots of bold blue tones and I made sure to choose my paper BEFORE colouring my image today. (though, don’t hold me to that…if my mojo wants to colour an image first and then figure out what to do with it I’m not going to stand in its way!)

Today’s card was coloured in a hybrid manner.  I used copics on everything but the cat.  The cat was coloured using prismacolour pencils and OMS.  I’m a big fan of hybrid colouring.  It’s easy to get stuck on one medium (my favourite being watercolouring at the moment) and this way you get to use more of your tools.  It would be a shame to ignore all the supplies I have just becase I have a preferred method of colouring.

Let’s end the lecture and move on to the card:

I tried to get a little creative with my copic colouring (I’m still learning) – not sure how I feel about that flower pot.  If I get more markers I will seriously have to start surfing for guidance.

I used Neenah Solar Crest cardstock- which is recommended for Copics.  It’s a coated paper so my pencils and stubs glided nicely over the paper too but I did find it was a bit different than the paper I usually use for pencils.  It took away a lot more of the pigment when I blended the colours.  That’s not a bad thing but it’s a bit of a learning curve…I think I could get used to using pencils with this cardstock.

I also unearthed a cuttlebug folder that I’ve never used…the line of buttons on the blue strip.  I thought it would go nicely with the patchwork style paper and I didn’t want to use a real button on this card because I’d already done that on the last 2 cards I made.

I think it turned out really cute and I think I’ll keep the pencils in easy reach and get some use out of them for a while.

First, you choose the paper…

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…and THEN you colour your image!

I know this is the most sensible way to create a card but sometimes (for example, when a new order of stamps arrives) you just want to colour a picture and worry about making the card afterwards.

That’s what happened to me yesterday.  I was so anxious to colour one of my new WS stamps that I didn’t really think about what paper I was going to use.  Once I found a pad with the right shade of green (Cosmo Cricket Garden Variety) it was too late to change some of the colour choices I’d made earlier.

Here’s the card:

The fact that everything doesn’t match is not a huge deal to me – I think the card is still cute – but cards look so much nicer if everything coordinates.

To illustrate my point (and to give me an excuse to colour this image again right away…) I decided to make a second card using the same paper (slightly different layout) and this time I paid attention to the colours in the paper (bear in mind that I don’t have a lot of copic markers yet so I can’t choose from 20 shades of green, etc.)

Here’s what I came up with:

Admittedly, I didn’t bother sewing all over this card as I’d already done loads of sewing on the first card and was having some thread issues but I think you can see that the image goes MUCH better now that I’ve paid attention to the colours in the paper.

Check back tomorrow because I’ve got another (non-Father’s Day card) project to show you…

Just Bee-Cuze

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I know I’m supposed to be making Father’s Day cards (plus working on making cards from all my scraps) but I couldn’t resist digging in to my newest Basic Grey paper – Green At Heart.  I also couldn’t wait to use more of my awesome new Whipper Snapper stamps. 

I stamped and coloured several images today as I’m trying to get the hang of Copics.  I do enjoy how colourful the few I have are but they don’t match much of my stash at the moment…they’re so bright and most of my stuff is much more muted in tone. (including my cardstock)

Oh well, great excuse to be on the look out for either paper that matches my markers or markers that match my paper…

Here’s my card:

I made this for a lady on SCS who leaves SOOOO many comments for lots of different people who post in the SCS gallery.  She doesn’t just say “Nice card.” or “Cute.”, she sounds so enthusiastic about everyone’s creations that I’m sure it makes their day to see her comments.

On to the details:

Green at Heart PP, copics for colouring, rhinestones, a little glitter on the wings (not obvious in the photo), I even dusted off my stapler and used it on the sentiment.  I know some people don’t like staples on greeting cards but I think they have their uses.

I did lots of zigzag stitching on the card.  Some day I’ll have to try a different colour of thread but it’s just easier to use white all the time.  Life is short and I’d rather make a card whenever possible instead of stressing about the card being amazing and not producing as many creations. 

I’ve got to spend a little time sorting out my craft room as the new countertop is going in soon (still painting the “legs”..)  I’ll take pictures when it’s installed.

See you tomorrow!

Burger King

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Wow!  Some of the stamps I got in my last Whipper Snapper order are HUGE!  They’re actually a little too large for making “standard” A2 cards.

The good news is that they take up so much space that creating a layout is a snap.

Today’s card is my first 2010 Father’s Day card.  I’m not sure if I like it and things aren’t going to get much easier as all the “Dad” stamps I ordered are much bigger than I expected. (insert tiny sad face here…they’re still awesome images…)

So, on to card number one:

I finally have a couple of blue and red copic markers (I’m working on it) so I thought I’d give them a try today.  I don’t have much experience with them and haven’t started researching how to use them – I’m just going on instinct for now and if I don’t get the  hang of them I’ll start scouring the ‘net for tips and tricks.

I paper-pieced the apron for two reasons – one, it makes my image match the patterned paper and two, I don’t have a lot of copics so I can’t colour match paper at this point.

I deliberately oriented the pattern the opposite of the background paper.  I usually do that when I’m using striped patterns.  Hope my BBQ’ing dad doesn’t think the horizontal stripes are unflattering!

The sentiment is an old SU set that I had – riveting…I haven’t used it in ages.  I printed the word DAD on cardstock and glued it over the original centre image (a box with a bow).  I couldn’t stop there, so I added a button with some twine.  Very manly!

I’ve got a busy day ahead – my parents are coming over for brunch and we’re also prepping to install my second countertop in the craft room so I’ve got some painting to do. (yuck!)  With any luck I’ll be able to crank out a card or two between coats.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Coming Soon…

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…to a blog near you…

I just received a FRESH BATCH of Whipper Snapper stamps (Karen and I placed an order a couple of weeks ago) and I’m in the processing trimming and mounting them.

Here’s what I got:

I only have a couple trimmed so far and still have to put them on cling foam…it’s usually an evening’s work for me (it doesn’t really take THAT long but by the time I let my knife cool down etc. so I can clean up my stamp mounting tools I’m pretty much done for the evening).

Here’s what a stamp looks like before I trim it:

…and this is what a stamp (different one – can’t wait to use this one!) looks like once I’ve gone a little crazy with my Tonic scissors:

Once I’m finished trimming everything, I’ll get out my glass cutting board and my hot knife and add the cling foam…how exciting!

Sorry no card tonight…but I’ve also got a new box of goodies from 7kids…I’ll have lots of new stuff on the blog after getting to play this weekend (long weekend in Canada…so even with house stuff and social events I’ll still have some extra crafting time on Monday!)

See you soon!

Sweet New Baby – using “useless” paper

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I’ve been busy with some client orders the last couple of days (not blog-worthy – they aren’t cards) and only managed to get one card made over the weekend.  To make it up to my loyal visitors, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to talk about how to make “useless” designs from paper packs into useful card making paper.

If you’ve ever bought a 12″X12″ pad of paper, you are probably aware that the size of most patterns and some of the pages themselves are better suited to scrapbooking than to card making.   Some sheets in the pack might even have areas printed right on the paper for journaling or matting photos.

I love K&Co paper and can rarely resist buying it unless all the patterns are HUGE and I know it won’t be good for making cards (though if the colours are amazing I still buy the paper in hopes of using it for altering items).  Today I’m going to take a sheet of “unsuitable” card making paper and turn it into a sweet, vintage baby card.

Here’s the sheet (front and back) that I’m working with.  As you can see, K&Co paper is double-sided so if the front is no good for cards, the back usually is (apologies for the darkness of the pic…had to place it on my work top for photographing):

I cut out random pieces of useable pattern and came up with this:

I played around with the different patterns and cut them down to size to mat onto a piece of cardstock.  Then I ran the pieces through my sewing machine and used some distress ink to add to the vintage style of the pattern:

I inked up a Hero Arts sailboat stamp and a sentiment and used distress ink on EVERYTHING…(including the ribbon).  To make the image match the paper, I paper pieced the boat rather than colouring it:

So there you have it!  I admit that some of the paper was wasted – much more than I would waste if I was using my usual 6X6 or 8X8 paper, but if I hadn’t cropped it down to something useable the page would have sat in my stash until 2014.  (that’s an approximate date – I figure if I’m still holding on to some sheets of Michael’s slabs it’s going to take me years to manage tossing K&Co paper!)

Why not rummage through your paper stacks and see if you can find a sheet that you never thought would be good for card making?

Showers Of Love

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A little break from the scrappy cards for a bridal shower card.  This one’s pretty colourful so you might want to whip out the sunglasses before looking at the full reveal!

I used my Thrift Shop paper and some cheerful SU cardstock (I was going to say raspberry something but I think it’s Melon Mambo – I can never get the In Colour names straight!)  The pp is matted on a scrap of Cool Caribbean that was sitting on my desk and I zig zag stitched between patterns and straight stitched around the edges of the whole mat (for me that is a LOT of sewing.)

The image is coloured with markers and paper pieced.  I admit that it was a little tricky to paper piece the right hand side of the raincoat but I got ‘er done.

I didn’t think the image needed to be matted as the pp is so strong.  The only thing left to do was add a few more touches of melon mambo which I did with the sentiment (computer generated) and a little ribbellishment using a button from my stash.

Got those sunglasses on?…

IRL, the ribbon matches the cardstock exactly.  Not sure why it’s coming out a different shade in the picture.

Before I jet, just want to wish my DH a happy birthday!!!

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