Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Starting over on the Sketch Challenges ...

Some of the Chiquita's over on Splitcoast Stamper's are starting over on the Sketch challenges ... I was on a roll til school got in the way but had a bit of time to make a couple more. Sometimes it's nice to take a fresh look at an old sketch, right?

The pink card was made using my blender pen and Stampin' Up ink pads to color. I just love the fresh look of this one.

The one on the right was going to be a little different. The thought behind the sketch was to create a window to the interior of the card. When I got the toile background paper on my saffron/artichoke base, it pretty much took on a life of it's own. To add an image would have been a crime. I left it as it was and just stamped the sentiment on the inside and called it a day. I love how the saffron ribbon looks against the black toile paper.

I'm afraid to check with my Stampin' Up demo - I'm nearly out of the saffron ribbon and I don't want to know that they're not selling it anymore!

Thanks for taking another stroll through my blog!

Color Challenge at SCS

These cards were made following this week's color challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers:
- Soft Suede
- Almost Amethyst
- Apricot Appeal

I also wanted to go with the theme for the CAS (Clean and Simple) card this week - which is where my 'sketch' comes in. I wanted to see if I could make them in limited layers, so I masked off with some Post Its, rectangles and then sponged in the 3 colors. On the right, I also masked an oval before the rectangles so it wouldn't receive any ink. I ran the white cardstock through the paisley embossing folder for my Cuttlebug and then lightly sponged appricot in the center and then edges with some amethyst. For the image in the oval, I colored directly to the stamp with assorted Zig and Stampin Up markers using the 'huffing' technique because I wanted a soft watercolor effect. I then pierced the oval. From the backside, I used one of my more expensive tools - a panscraper from Pampered Chef, gotta love 'em! - and gently smoothed out the paisley emboss so that it raised the oval to give it a sort of cameo appearance. I did use some dimensional foam tape behind the oval to keep it raised slightly. Ok, so I did add a slip of amethyst below this one, but it's still fairly Clean and Simple, right?

For the card on the left, I did pretty much the same thing, with the exception of the oval treatment. For the sponging, I took the apricot and heavily sponged from the top til it faded out and then with the amethyst from the bottom, again, heavily til it faded out. This card is truly only 2 layers - both white.

I liked this technique so much, I think I may have to do a whole bunch of them in varying styles.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Happy Father's Day !

This card was made for my wonderfully supportive husband (not only does he support me in all of my endeavors from Nursing School to my many volunteering stints, but he also literally supports my habit with his paycheck). I recently got a slew of these Nestabilities Label 10 dies from Chautona over on Splitcoast Stampers. I stamped the grouping of trees from Stampin Up's Lovely as a Tree in chocolate chip. I took some barely banana and used my jumbo wheel of Very Vintage (also chocolate) to make the background paper and then sponged them with chocolate.

This card was made for my father in law - another wonderful man who would give you the shirt of his back. I stamped on brocade blue with night of navy - the wolf is from PSX, the trees are from Stampscapes. Not sure where the sun came from. The background paper is digital (I'd have to look that up to see where I got it from). I added a couple of strips of black that I punched with one of Stampin' Up's border punches.

Happy Father's Day to two very wonderful men in my life!

A few Tid Bits

This is actually one of my favorite cards created recently. I've had this embossing folder for weeks and just never got around to using it. This is actually only (1) piece of apricot appeal and (1) piece of whisper white but it it looks like so much more.

I embossed the white cardstock and then lightly sponged the raised portions. I then masked those areas off, leaving only the center rectangle and sponged a bit heavier around the edges - it looks almost like another layer of apricot, doesn't it? I stamped the Stampin' Up sentiment in apricot. When I got done, the corners were begging for a little attention, so I punched them with a decorative corner punch - and VOILA! Done deal. I'm definitely going to have to give this folder a few more cards to snuggle up next to.

This next card was made with an image I received through SplitcoastStampers' Wish-RAK club. He was colored with Copics and then I used a homemade scallop cloud template to sponge some bashful blue for the sky. I took off a circle punched post it that I masked for the sun and then used the reverse template to sponge a little sunshine in. This was for an early sketch challenge, so I used 2 different designer papers reflecting water and bubbles before adding knots of blue satin ribbon. This is where I wanna be ALL SUMMER LONG!

For this little fella, I was practicing feathering with my Copics (notice his wings). If you've looked at my past cards, you may see an abundance of cards made with purples and greens - one of my favorite go-to color combinations. The image is from the Digi Shack and the sentiment is from My Graphico.

Uh Oh! Purple/Green alert ....
Here's another Mo Manning digi - called Wednesday's child. She looks like such a precious Drama Queen, doesn't she? I loved coloring this with my Copics and dressing her up with some lavendar liquid pearls. It was the middle of the night or I might have been tempted to go chase down a feather boa I could take apart and glue on - maybe that's actually a good thing, lol - less can be more.

This little beauty, Coriander, is from Sweet November Stamps. I got her from my friend Jenny over at Paper Jewels . I colored her in with Copics and then painted some Shimmerz Angel Wings over her wings to give them a shimmer which you probably can't see from the picture.
I'm starting to realize that I'm about as fickle as you can get - my Most Favorites seem to change with the next stamp that comes out. I shouldn't complain too much, though. It's a fabulous outlet and I guess beats drinking at the bar every night, lol.
Thanks for stopping by!

For my Cheerleaders!

5 of my cheerleaders from last year's squad tried out for our Elite squad this year and made it. 4 of them are only 6th graders, so KUDO's to you gals - you did a marvelous job and I'm so proud of you ... I wanted to show them how much I thought of them and the hard work they put into trying out and making the squad so I make them each a card, personalized to suit their personalities.

Left-most is for a sweetheart who tries harder than most and I couldn't get this cute changito out of my mind for her. All images were colored with my Copics. Our local scrapbook store has some DP in our school colors so I used some of that along with some Stampin' Up DP to finish it off. The near-left is a Digi image from Mo Manning's Digital Pencil Two . My DP here is actually some digi paper from Wrap Candy - yep, purple for my cheerleaders.

On the right are 2 of the 3 made very similar - using a Sugar Nellies cheerleader, also colored with Copics. I used some vellum with purple flowers on the left and the right has some more of the Wrap Candy digi paper as background.

By the way, you CAN guess our squad's colors, right? Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Faux Tile Technique using Clear Embossing

The following is my first attempt at any sort of online tutorial ... so be gentle, please.

These cards were made using a FAUX TILE Technique.

This is by no means original to me, I learned it years ago (pre-daughter) so I'm not even sure what store it was at. It's a faux tile technique using clear embossing - preferable the UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel).

To start off, here's a list of supplies needed:
- Brass Stencil with window panes
- Versamark embossing ink pad
- clear embossing powder (I prefer UTEE-Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel)
- Image stamped (as desired)
- Post it pad or soft-tack masking tape (like architect's/illustrators use)
- Heat gun

First, take your cardstock you want the tile to look like in the end. Oftentimes, I'll start with white - you can sponge in more color later - or stamp on a lighter color. Tape or mask with Post Its the area on the stencil that you don't want to be tiled. Here, I've masked off one row on the top & right side of the stencil.

Next, stamp the images you'd like directly over the stencil. Here, I used some of the silhouette stamps from Gina K Design's Botanicals set, in Stampin' Up's Certainly Celery. I let the image sit for a couple of minutes and then gently wiped on the grids to get rid of any excess ink from the stencil (from trial & error, I found out it CAN mark up your Versamark pad if you don't). Before removing the stencil, you can use a sponge, sponge daubers or pom-poms on that "grabber-thing" (sorry, lacking technical term) and sponge either from light ink pad or chalks around the edges of either the entire panel, or each pane. Lightly stamping each pane DOES make it look even more realistic in the end.

Once you are satisfied with your image, again, let it sit for a couple of minutes and then take your Versamark Pad and directly apply over the stencil, making sure you have an even coat overall. Carefully remove the stancil and Post Its and sprinkle with UTEE - This is how it should look before heat setting ...
This image on the left is a result of 3 layers of the UTEE. When you're applying the powder again, take a thin paint brush and lightly brush off any excess powder in between the lines so your 'grout lines' stay true and the tiles don't run into each other.

After letting the image cool, you can apply your 'grout'. Here, I'm adding some Tea Dye by Tim Holtz. You can add any color, but looks great with either a darker color or complimentary color - or, I suppose you could even leave it white if that was your preference.

Here are 2 finished panels - One, sponging more colore before adding Versamark, then sponging in a golden brown ... the other, leaving it 'clean' before the Versamark and sponging in a green. The darker sponging makes the tile pop more. Again, both of these were used with white card stock as a base, but it also looks good with lighter colors, then at the end sponging in a coordinating color for the grout lines.

Now, because these are on the heavier, thick side when you're done, I'd use a very strong tape (like the red tape you peel off) to adhere the image panel to any mats or card stock.
Another aside - if you try this on regular designer paper, the embossing will bleed right through the paper, almost obliterating the design on the paper - but maybe worth experimenting. I haven't tried it with patterned cardstock.
Good luck - would love to see what you come up with if you try this technique. Hopefully everything was explained, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Thanks for stopping by ...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Today's Ways to Use it challenge at SCS was to incorporate butterflies somehow. I was also eyeballing Sketches by {tamara}. This was for a challenge to randomly pick a Guest Designer and we could make either a Scrapbook page or a Card using this layout. I stamped the image on Gina K's luxury 120lb weight cardstock and colored her in with Copics. I then took my distresser blade and distressed the edges. I punched a vanilla and artichoke flourish with my QuicKutz die through the Cuttlebug, and then used the negative to sponge the same flourish in the image's corners with green before taking Tim Holtz' tea dye to distress all over. The sentiment was computer generated - I'm liking going online to search out poems of all kinds - Versus the alternative of having to find stamps that I don't know if they even exist! Don't get me wrong, I still do my fair share of purchasing Sentiment stamps, but when you're in the middle of a card & you don't have "just what this card needs" ... it's nice to know the computer is only 20 feet away. I used 2 different pieces of paper from the Basic Grey Capella paper pack and distressed those with tea dye also. The upright is a piece of crocheted trim that was sewn down. I added the butterflies that were punched using a Martha Stewart butterfly from the same Capella designer paper then sponged them a bit before attaching. Those of you that know me know I love my purple & green combo's, but even more, I love the vintage/antiqued/distressed (but clean) cards. How do you think this card turned out?

This card was made using this week's sketch challenge over on Splitcoasters. Surprise! My favorite purple (and green if you count the foilage)! All of the Designer Paper came from the Paper Trey Inc's Guidelines paper pack, so they coordinate very well, I think. This is actually from a set from Art Impressions - build a scene type. I loved the watering can from my last post so much that I ended up getting this set (which, among all the others, has the same watering can). I stamped the gate and then colored it with Copics faintly and then stamped the foilage and flowers. Obviously, I love this purple creation ... Only thing that upset me a bit is the scene I started with was much larger on the sides - Hurt alot to see how much of the picture ended up as scraps after I cut this oval out with the Creative Memories cutting system, but I wanted to stay true to the sketch challenge. Maybe next time I'll cut the oval first, and then stamp/color, lol.
Thanks again for stopping by ...
Had some time to make some of these cards - First one was made using a few stamps from Art Impressions - I stamped the watering can and colored with Copics then stamped in the foilage. I really like the background here, tho ... I took a piece of ivory script dp and clear embossed some flourishes randomly then sponged a combination of orchid and plum all over to bring out the resist. The dark and light purple layers are top with the eyelet scallop border punched. The white layer you see is actually the inside of the card, same punch. I have to say, I like this one lots.

This next card was made by stamping the image on heavy water color paper. I used watercolor pencils/aqua pen to color her in and then distressed the papers used. The background is actually a piece of ivory stamped with the Linen bg stamp and then used the marble technique with rust and chocolate (put cardstock in bottom of flat shallow container and a couple of drops of re-inker then roll the marble around - then add another color & do the same.)

This was another old SCS sketch. The image is a digital image colored with copics. I used some PTI GuideLines dp - I'm loving this paper pack - have had it for ages & just now starting to use it on a regular basis (go figure - purple IS my favorite color, lol). You can't see very well from the photo, but I traced her 'scallops' on the wings with a clear glitter gel pen to make it slightly sparkly.

This digi image has been sitting on my desk for weeks now, not sure what I wanted to do with him. Once again- an old SCS sketch challenge. Image was colored with Copics. I added some Crystal Accents to his eyeballs and the bubbles for a bit of dimension. The sentiment was computer generated. I took the Gina K digital designer paper and put 1/2 of it through the Cuttlebug embossing folder and then sponged over them with Pacific Point. For the horizontal piece, I used my Creative Memories wavy cutter and cut a strip then doodled with a white gel pen before calling it a day. I just think this is such a fun image!!!!

This sweet kittie is another digital image just barely colored with Copics. This was for an Inspiration challenge this week - I chose a set of white porcelain dishes that were hung on a wall with a very similar colored ribbon to this SU celery ribbon. I'm pretty darned happy with the bow too ... No, I didn't use the Bow Easy, lol - it's my own.

I just got this rose stamp on Monday and pictured the card I wanted immediately ... I colored it with Copics. The background paper is another from Gina K's digital paper collection. The sentiment was computer generated here as well. Finished this one off with a simple knot.

These 2 cards were as simple as could be, but I'm SO loving how they turned out. The one on the right is actually just one layer of white cardstock. I put the upper portion through the Cuttlebug paisley embossing folder and then sponged it with bashful blue. The one on the left - okay, I cheated a bit and cut a piece of white cardstock to run through the embossing folder. Both Images were colored with markers. The one on the right I 'huffed' on ... the one on the left I barely misted with water before stamping. I finished both with a bit of sparkle in the form of Stickles and then a fun piece of ribbon.
Thanks for stopping in for a peek at what I've been up to ...
Been Uber-Busy last few weeks with school (mine, not the kid's. She's been out for 3 weeks now). Took a semester course in 12 days - can you say ARGH! Test every other day & 3 reports all within that time. Did very well with an 'A' in the course, so I guess it wasn't too bad ... Now, if that wasn't enough, this week I started Psych class for 2 months and just this week (thank goodness it's not the entire summer), I'm in class for 2 days for re-certification of my CNA - Now it's a requirement to get into the Nursing Program - which, let's HOPE, hope, hope will be in January. All my ducks are now in the same row - just need to get clinicals done, take the test & can apply.