Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birthdays, Birthdays Everywhere (an OWH Midweek Throwdown)

February is a very busy month for my card making! All three of my sisters-in-law have birthdays within the first week of the month. My father and bestest friend share a birthday on the 19th and my nephew has one on the 23. I am sure there are some friends days in the month as well, but I have yet to turn the calendar....I'm a bit scared.

So it seems only fitting that today's OWH Mid-Week Throwdown challenged us to create birthday cards. What's one or two more to the mix? 

Thankfully, I just won the most adorable Big Wishes Mae birthday stamp set from Kristy Dalman over at Some Odd Girl stamps during SOG's birthday blog hop. She'll be getting very inky this month!

I mentioned before that I have been following along with Nathalie Kalbach's Creative Jump Start Summit 2013 and have watched so many talented artists create with a variety of mediums. It has really inspired me to dust off some of my old products and try my hand at some new (to me) techniques.

The background paper for today's card was inspired by yesterdays tutorial by Ronda Palazzari. Ronda has designed some new stencils for The Crafter's Workshop and she used watercolor crayons along with the stencils to produce some pretty watercolor images. I decided to try this to create a pretty floral backdrop for Mae. I started off outlining the stencils with the watercolor crayons, but switched over to watercolor colored pencils and liked the effect much better.  Unfortunately, Mae looks a bit like an Oompa-loompa in this picture. I was trying to differentiate between her pale face and hair color and ended up using a bit more E11 than I should have. We'll just pretend she's been tanning too much! Or maybe it's just the glow of the birthday candle. Oh well...I'll keep trying.

Well, that's one card down...several more to go! As always, thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Neat and Tangled's Happy Mail for Greyson Card Drive

I hate to hear stories about kids being sick. They really get to me. As a mom of two boys, I can't imagine anything worse than watching your children fight against a disease that they don't deserve to get. 

Danielle Walls, owner and creator of Neat and Tangled stamps, has started a card drive for one brave little boy Grayson, who at the young age of 2 is starting chemo to shrink a tumor on his brain stem. Both Grayson and his 4 year old brother Aydan love getting mail and are into the typical boy pursuits of Rescue Bots, Thomas the Train, GeoTrax and Angry Birds. 

I had picked up these adorable robot stickers by Momenta on a recent outing to Hobby Lobby and knew they would be perfect to make cards for these little guys. I tried to keep the embellishments to a minimum since they are still little kids (didn't want them choking on googlie eyes or buttons). Here are my two cards:

Supplies: Neenah solar white carstock, pattern paper by Kaiser Craft's Konstrukt collection,
sentiment from Paper Smooches Little Fella stamp set, stickers by Momenta.

Supplies: Cardstock by Bazzill, Stickers by Momenta, Ribbon by Offray, Sentiment from Paper Smooches.

If you would like more information about where to send cards for these adorable little boys, please be sure to check out the Neat and Tangled Blog for all the specifics.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Another Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge--Cool Shades

Just popping in tonight real quick to post a card I created this week to play along in the Paper Smooches Sparks Cool Shades--Royalty Challenge

I love the colors in this palette, although I took some liberties with the blues. The darkest color on my card is more of an indigo than the suggested navy, but I love the papers in the DCWV Arctic Wishes Matstack that I picked up on an end of season clearance sale and wanted to play around with them some more.

I decided to ink up the little puppy from my newest Paper Smooches stamp set Woofers and Tweeters and pair it with the precious kitty from Party Posse. I made up my own sentiment using the letters from the  Alphadots stamp set. 

Make sure you stop by the SPARKS blog tomorrow as the new challenge for the week will be posted! 

Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

OWH Design Bootcamp--Basic Color Theory

It's been a pretty crafty weekend...the silver lining to having to cancel our weekend plans. We were supposed to go visit my in-laws but the kids are sick and they (my in-laws) are deathly afraid of catching the flu.

So this morning I woke up resolved to make a few more cards to add to my box for Operation Write Home. Shipping rates will be going up on the 27th of January, so I'd like to get another box out to them before the price increase.

Over on the Stars and Stamps blog they are featuring the Operation Write Home Design Bootcamp and today's lesson (complete with homework no less) is about Basic Color Theory. Our assignment was to create a card based on one of the color harmonies discussed--monochromatic, analogous, complementary, or a color scheme based on nature.

For my card I chose the complementary colors of blue, blue green and green, which reminded me of the colors in peacock feathers. I just picked this stamp up at a yard sale in a collection of miscellaneous red rubber stamps, so I have no idea where to get it or who even makes it. Using my Copic markers (B14, BG15, and G14) made it really easy to make sure my colors coordinated.  I finished off the edges with some Freckled Fawn washi tape with the same colors and stamped the sentiment from Paper Smooches Word Salad.

If you are looking for some design inspiration, make sure to check out the Stars and Stamps blog. I can't wait to see what else is in store!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

BE Inspired--To Get Butter Soon

With so much sickness going around this winter, I figured I'd better get a couple of get well cards ready. My oldest son has yet another cold, but it seems to be pretty mild so far. My Dad on the other hand, is battling something and we're all just hoping that the doctors get to the bottom of it quickly and help him get better soon. 

I've had this adorable Reel Time stamp set from The Alley Ways stamps for awhile. I've used some of the other images in my scrapbook layouts but haven't had a need (thank goodness) to use the "get butter soon" sentiment stamps until today.

I am submitting this for this week's BE Inspired-#20 challenge, although I really didn't use enough to pink (just on the little nose) to actually represent the inspiration photo. I tried using pink ribbon but it felt too much like a Valentine's Day card and that wasn't the look I was trying to achieve. So my layers are kraft, white, black, and red instead. 

Supplies:  Kraft and white cardstock by Neenah, pattern paper from MME  Christmas paper pack.
Stamps from  TAWS Reel Time set and Peachy Keen Stamps Cute and Cuddly Assorted Faces. Ribbon by Offray.

I think it came out pretty cute! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you stay healthy this winter and won't need a card like this to cheer you up.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

OWH Midweek Throwdown Challenge--Show Us Your Green

I had so much fun the other day playing with alcohol inks, that I decided to use that same technique to make a few more cards to add to my Operation Write Home box. And since the mid-week throwdown challenge over on the Stars and Stripes blog was to make GREEN cards, I pulled out the Lettuce, Citrus and Meadow alcohol inks.

I first created the green background (on the card on the left) and die cut the word with My Favorite Things Die-namics Highrise Alphabet lowercase. I used the negative space in the first card for the sentiment, but saved the cut letters to create a second card. How cool is that? Two cards with one swoop! The stamped images are from Lawn Fawn's Flutter By stamp set and I colored them in with Copics. Easy peasy and VERY green!
I hope you can join us for the Mid-Week Throwdown. Can't wait to go see what the other ladies have created! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Playing with Alcohol Inks!

About two years ago, I became a huge collector of everything Ranger (and Tim Holtz created). First it was the distress inks and then the alcohol inks. I used them a lot in the beginning and watched dozens of YouTube tutorials on what to do with them. The distress inks were, and continue to be, one of my very favorite inks to play with...but I can't say the same about the alcohol inks. 

I recently signed up for Nathalie Kalbach's Creative Jump Start 2013, which is this great forum where she, and many other talented artists, have created videos showcasing their work and the mediums that they enjoy working with. In each video they focus on "3 ways to...." I've learned what to do with gesso, gel mediums, watercolor, and the other day.... how to use alcohol inks as backgrounds for stamping (among other techniques).

If that wasn't enough to motivate me, I recently saw a post on Jess Larsen's blog , where she used an alcohol ink background behind a cut letter Valentine's Day card. I've seen other cards with word cutouts, but using the alcohol ink background was a new twist and one that I decided to try out. (Be sure to check out her blog to see her beautiful designs).

It took me awhile to find color combinations that I liked. With alcohol inks you have to be careful not to include too many colors because they start to muddy together. You can apply the ink in bands, use a stipple effect, or swirl it on. Really the only limitation is your creativity (and for me, that can sometimes be a pretty big obstacle). Also, don't forget to use a glossy paper for the best effect.

The card that I created uses three different colors (Sail Boat Blue, Pool, and Wild Plum). I started applying the Sail Boat Blue in a swirling technique similar to how you'd apply distress inks. Next I pounced on some pool (changing pads with each color to keep them separate). And finally I applied a thin line of Wild Plum to a new pad and applied them in brush strokes. I really like the final effect! Once I had the background that I liked, I cut the top card out with My Favorite Things lowercase dies and used some dimensional adhesive to pop it off the background. With some leftover background paper, I punched out three balloons with my Martha Stewart punch.

There were a few other cards that didn't make the cut, but I had fun playing with my alcohol inks and will definitely pull them out again for other projects.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 7, 2013

What Happened to My Resolutions?

I was listening on the news today that by now (7 days into the New Year) 60% of women will have given up, or cheated, on their New Year's resolutions. I am proud to say that I am not among that 60%. See this year, I didn't really set any New Year's resolutions and so I can't really be accused of not sticking to them can I? I think that was pretty ingenious of me, actually!

In all seriousness, I find New Year's resolutions rather depressing. They are always the same for me and I inevitably fail to follow through on most of them...get in shape, eat healthier, and be nicer to my family (hee-hee). So this year, I've decided that instead of making resolutions, I am going to set some goals. And instead of resolving to do things to make me "a better version of myself" I am going to make a list of goals that I want to accomplish by the end of 2013. I think I have a far better chance of being able to check some things off my to do list than to gauge how much I will weigh in December. And since I think making time for crafting actually does make me a "better version of myself"...I've set a number of crafting goals for myself.

So here goes, my list of goals for 2013 includes:

  • Participate in at least two challenges (card or page layout) per month. This will help keep the mojo going throughout the year.
  • Write at least one blog post per week.
  • Join a blog hop (not just to follow....but to be a blog on the hop).
  • Practice, practice, practice coloring with my Copics in the hopes that I learn to stay within the lines.
  • Learn how to use (and not break) my sewing machine. I want to produce one card with machine stitching on it...just one, that shouldn't be THAT hard.
  • Catch up on my scrapbook layouts so I am never more than 1 month behind the calendar (right now I am scrapping photos from it's not an unrealistic goal).
  • Double the number of cards I sent to OWH (Operation Write Home) in 2012. I have sent that means at least 292 for 2013.
That's it...7 crafting goals. Seven is a lucky number, so I am going to stop there. The last post on my blog for this year will be an update to see how well I did. Hopefully I will have some additional items on the list and that should feel pretty good.

And with that, I leave you with a cute little card that I made for our good friends who helped us ring in the New Year with style! It is definitely a departure from my usual style of card, but I just adore the Party Hardy digital image from Saturated Canary that I couldn't wait to use her on a card.

Supplies: Patterned paper from DCWV and K&Company, Neenah Solar White cardstock base,  Dies from Spellbinders and QuickKutz, Digital stamp from Saturated Canary, cling stamp from Hero Arts (Work Gears) for background, Shadow Inks from Hero Arts, & Copics.
May all your dreams for the New Year come true! Thanks for stopping by.