Wednesday, February 10, 2016

TOY Cards

In this case, TOY doesn't mean a plaything; it means Thinking Of You. Although, I suppose the fun of making a card is almost like playing!

Besides receiving birthday and Christmas cards, which one can almost expect every year, it's really special to receive a card for no other reason than the person sending it just wanted to say "Hi, you're in my thoughts." What a wonderful feeling it is to be the recipient of a totally out of the blue and unexpected random act of kindness!

With that in mind, I sent these four cards out this week to put a smile on a few faces. It makes me happy to make cards (my craft room isn't called "my happy place" for nothing, you know!), and it makes me happy to make other people happy. Stamps, ink, and paper can be a pretty powerful thing, when you think about it.

The "How To" for this card
Image panel: Watercolor Paper 2-1/8" x 4-1/8"
Mat behind image: Basic Black 2-3/8" x 4-5/8"
DSP: 3-7/8" x 5-1/8"
Mat behind DSP: Basic Black 4" x 5-1/4"
Card base: Whisper White Thick 5-1/2" x 8-1/2", scored and folded at 4-1/4"
Scraps Whisper White for greeting and butterfly

Stamp images and color, using Blender Pens and ink pads, on watercolor paper. Add some Clear Wink of Stella, if you want to fancy it up! Cut into thirds (1-3/8" wide) and pop up on smaller Basic Black mat using Stampin' Dimensionals, spacing them apart evenly. There should be about 1/8" Basic Black showing all around. Stamp greeting on 1/2" wide strip of Whisper White. I used the Modern Label Punch (retired) and slipped the cardstock in from the back to trim each end so the label would be longer than the punch allows.

Adhere DSP to large Basic Black mat and then to card base. Center and attach Tea Lace Paper Doily to DSP. Cut Metallic Foil Doily in half, center and adhere to back of image mat, then attach to card base.

Stamp butterfly on scrap of Whisper White, color and fussy-cut. Pop butterfly up on half a Stampin' Dimensional. Edge greeting with Gold Wink of Stella and pop greeting up on Dimensionals.

STAMPS: Flowering Fields (SAB), A Dozen Thoughts
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White Thick, Basic Black, Watercolor Paper,  Brights, Regals & In Color DSP Stacks (retired)
INK: Basic Black Archival, Real Red, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Melon Mambo, Strawberry Slush (retired)
ACCESSORIES: Blender Pens, Clear Wink of Stella Glitter Brush, Gold Wink of Stella Glitter Brush, Tea Lace Paper Doilies, Metallic Foil Doilies, Stampin' Dimensionals

Monday, February 8, 2016

Rosy Birthday

Believe it or not, this is one of the easiest cards to make! If you know how to heat emboss (the gold outlines of the rose and leaves were heat embossed), and you can color somewhat between the lines, then you can make this card. If you don't have watercolor paper, then Shimmery White cardstock will do, which is what was used here. Make sure you use an Embossing Buddy to get rid of any static on the cardstock. Trust me, it makes a big difference!

The "How To" for this card
Image panel: Shimmery White 4" x 5-1/4"
Card base: Whisper White Thick cardstock 5-1/2" x 8-1/2", scored and folded at 4-1/4"

Rub the "buddy" all over the Shimmery White CS, and blow off any dust. Stamp image using VersaMark Ink, then pour gold embossing powder generously over stamped lines. Dump excess powder off image and onto scrap paper, then funnel back into jar. Tap back of cardstock over a waste basket to knock off any loose bits. Heat with Heat Tool until powder has melted.

Squeeze the top and bottom of your (closed) ink pads together to leave some ink on the lids. (They make a great palette to use with Aqua Painters or Blender Pens!) For this card I used Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry, and Mossy Meadow.

Now, let's get painting! Have a paper towel handy for blotting your brush, if needed. Using an Aqua painter, squeeze the barrel until the brush gets wet, but not drippy. Working on just 2 or 3 petals at a time, moisten them with water from your brush, then pick up some of the color from the lid of your Calypso Coral ink pad and spread it around on the moistened areas. This is watercoloring, so you don't want it to be perfect. Some areas will be a little darker and some will be lighter and that's okay! Continue adding more petals, a few at a time, then go back over some areas with a bit of Crushed Curry to give them a glow. Now do the leaves the same way using Mossy Meadow.

This is where practice really does make perfect, so don't be afraid to play around with different amounts of wetness and ink on some practice images. You'll get the hang of it! It really is amazing the shades you can get from one color, from the palest hint of color to the deepest, boldest shade. You can always go back and add more color if it isn't dark enough for your liking. Or if it's too dark, you can blot some of the color off (before it dries, or course!).

Let the image dry and then ink the idges with a Stamping Sponge and some Mossy Meadow ink. Adhere to card base, and add a few sequins (the Fine-Tip Glue Pen is perfect for this). Aaaand, you're done!

STAMPS: Rose Wonder
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White Thick, Shimmery White
INK: VersaMark, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry, Mossy Meadow
ACCESSORIES: Heat Tool, Embossing Buddy, Gold Stampin' Emboss Powder, Love Blossoms Embellishment Kit (sequins), Stamping Sponges, Fine-Tip Glue Pen

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Happy Birthday To...


Yep, today is the day I celebrate the thirty-first anniversary of my thirty-first birthday.
Smiley from Millan.Net
Yeesh, how did THAT happen? I'm officially old enough to collect Social Security, but I don't feel like I've passed my forties yet!

Smiley from Millan.Net
So this is a quick, fun card that you can either stamp, as I did, or use Washi Tape for the cake layers and make it even quicker. The clear photopolymer stamps do make it easy to align the layers, though.

I chose the colors from the Wildflower Fields DSP, which is a Sale-A-Bration freebie. Speaking of Sale-A-Bration, there are three limited time items ending on the 15th and three new items starting on the 16th! I can't wait to get my hands on that glitter tape (said the Magpie, lol)! I am finally starting to use the Washi Tape I have, so some shiny, glittery tape is going to be put to good use!

The "How To" for this card
Image panel: Whisper White 3-1/8" x 4"
Mat behind image: Hello Honey 3-3/8" x 4-1/4"
Wildflower Fields DSP 1-3/8" x 5-1/4"
Card base: Whisper White Thick 5-1/2" x 8-1/2", scored and folded at 4-1/4"

Stamp the cake plate in Blackberry bliss, the bottom cake layer in Hello Honey, the middle layer in Calypso Coral, and the top layer in Old Olive. The banner at the top is also Blackberry Bliss. Punch a flower using the Itty Bitty Punch Pack and a scrap of Calypso Coral. Adhere to cake and add a Rhinestone Jewel. Fasten the DSP to the card base, then the stamped, matted panel, using SNAIL or your adhesive of choice. Add the Blackberry Bliss Washi Tape to the corners. Stamp "Birthday Wishes" in Basic Black Archival on the bottom cake layer. DONE!

STAMPS: Build a Birthday
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Whisper White Thick, Hello Honey, Wildflower Fields DSP (SAB)
INK: Basic Black Archival, Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, Calypso Coral, Old Olive
ACCESSORIES: Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Bohemian Designer Washi Tape, Rhinestones Basic Jewels

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Hardest Card to Make

Masculine cards have always been a challenge for me, but I can get them done without tears. Sympathy cards, on the other hand, carry too much emotional connection and are, without a doubt, the hardest for me to make. And this one tops them all.

My cousin's daughter Mandy lost her battle with Stage 4 Melanoma last weekend. She was only 33 years old, and left behind two beautiful boys, ages 8 and 10. It wasn't even six months after her diagnosis. So yeah, this one was a real toughie for me to make. And that same weekend a dear friend lost her brother, and another friend lost her father-in-law. All to cancer. Three sympathy cards to heart was very heavy.

So, here is my public service announcement : please, please, please, if you have a suspicious spot have it checked by your doctor. Melanoma doesn't always look like an ugly dark mole! Mandy's looked like a plantar wart on the bottom of her foot, which didn't respond to normal wart treatment. Even if your doctor says it's nothing to worry about, insist on having a biopsy done if your gut is telling you something's wrong.

The "How To" for this card
Image panel: Whisper White 3-1/2" x 4"
Mat behind image: Basic Black 3-5/8" x 4-1/8"
Embossed panel: Lost Lagoon 4" x 5-1/4", embossed with Perfect Polka Dots (retired)
Mat behind embossed panel: Basic Black 4-1/8" x 5-3/8"
Card base: Lost Lagoon 5-1/2" x 8-1/2", scored at 4-1/4" and folded

I cut a 2-1/2" x 3" rectangle out of scrap paper with my Paper Trimmer to use as a reverse mask. After centering it on the image panel (held in place with painters tape) Lost Lagoon was sponged on the Whisper White, leaving a 1/2" border all around. The greeting, flowers and dragonfly were stamped in Basic Black Archival, and some Clear Wink of Stella was added to the dragonfly wings (not visible in the photo). The splats were inked in Lost Lagoon and stamped off once on scrap paper to lighten them before stamping on the image. The flowers were colored with a bit of Lost Lagoon using a Blender Pen. The image panel and mat were popped up on Stampin' Dimensionals.

STAMPS: Awesomely Artistic, Flowering Fields (SAB), Love & Sympathy (retired)
CARDSTOCK: Whisper White, Basic Black, Lost Lagoon
INK: Basic Black Archival, Lost Lagoon
ACCESSORIES: Big Shot, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder (retired), Blender Pen, Clear Wink Of Stella Glitter Brush, Stampin' Dimensionals