Monday, October 27, 2014

Challenge: Get Crafty & Use Kraft

Here is my submission to the Wednesday Simon Says Stamp challenge - Get Crafty & Use Kraft. I love the look of kraft cardstock so this was a fun challenge.

I used one of my favorite flower stamps from Stampendous, stamping in Versamark and heat embossing with white. I colored in the flowers using Inktense pencils and a wet brush, which went very quickly. The embossing makes it easy to "stay in the lines".

The sentiment is from Altnew's Super Script 2. I stamped in black ink and trimmed it closely. I brushed on clear Wink of Stella and added Glossy Accents on top, then set it aside to dry. 

Meanwhile, I cut a piece of lace edging and taped it down to the back of the kraft panel. I stitched around the entire panel using my sewing machine, then adhered a thin strip of green ribbon at the bottom. This panel was attached to a pink card base, then the sentiment was glued on top of that.

I hope your week is off to a good start! Happy crafting!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Make it Take it Challenge: October

So, I'm a little late joining this party, but I'm going to get this squeezed in by the deadline. This is a challenge from Craft Stamper Magazine. I'm not very familiar with it, but discovered it because it was mentioned on a blog I was reading. Every month they issue a new challenge - this month, participants are to use the technique of multi-color stamping. This involves using mulitple colors of ink, paint, etc. on an image.

Here's my card:

I pulled out a leaf stamp by Rubber Nature ArtStamps and started adding various colors of orange and brown Distress inks. After giving it a light misting of water, I stamped that on a cardstock panel. Then I stamped it again on another, lightweight piece of paper and cut it out to make a mask. I put the mask over my leaf, and inked up an old favorite script stamp from Stampin' Up! in various shades of green Distress inks. I stamped the script on top of the masked leaf, and then removed the mask. This left the leaf image untouched, with the script all around it.

So far, so good. I trimmed the panel down a little, and mounted it to some dark brown paper which was product packaging I'd saved. I pulled out some multi-hued thread and wrapped it around the top of the panel several times, securing it to the back with tape.

Next I pulled out Altenew's Label Love set and chose "thank you". I tried several brown inks before settling on a very old Ancient Page ink in Close to Cocoa (Stampin' Up!). I poured clear embossing powder over that and heat set it. I trimmed it close to the stamped image, leaving some of the white around it as a frame. I tried that on the card front, but I felt that it needed something dark behind it to provide sufficient contrast to the panel behind it. Brown didn't seem to be the right choice, but I thought a rust color would work. I inked up some paper using Distress Ink in Rusty Hinge, creating my own colored paper. I adhered the sentiment to this and trimmed it, leaving a thin edge of color showing. This was added, and that was that - all done!

Happy crafting!

Muse Challenge #90

I stumbled a cross a new challenge blog this week and decided to participate. The blog is called Muse: A Cardmaking Club. I liked the bright colors of the challenge card as well as the design. Here it is:

I immediately thought of a Tim Holtz stencil I've got called Rays. I got out a piece of watercolor paper and taped it down to my craft sheet so it wouldn't move around. I taped the stencil on top (painter's tape works well) and also used some strips of tape to mask off adjacent rays so that the colors would stay where I intended them to go. I did all the yellow first, using Mustard Seed Distress Ink. Then for the red rays I used Barn Red Distress Ink. 

The stencil is a narrow one, and it didn't work to use it to duplicate what you see in the photo above. I ended up cutting the paper in half lengthwise after stenciling it. I paired it with a strip of bright red cardstock and adhered both pieces to a card base. To cover the spot in the middle where the pieces join, I cut a thin strip of black cardstock and glued that down.

I found a small black tag in my stash, and decided to use that with a word from a new die cut set I just bought - it's by Tim Holtz and has lots of Christmasy words. I die cut the word "wishes" four times from bright blue cardstock and glued the layers to each other to make it thicker. I coated the word with my clear Wink of Stella pen and added Glossy Accents on top of that.

Next I got out the Label Love set by Altenew and stamped "Just for You" in Stampin' Up turquoise ink. I stamped the same thing in Versamark on top of that and added  clear embossing powder. After heat setting the powder, I cut out the word strip and mounted in on some foam tape.

To finish it up, I found a red heart-shaped button that I added to the tag along with some blue twine (thanks to Target's Dollar Spot!).

Here's my take on this challenge:

I'm actually glad that I wasn't able to stencil the pattern on both sides of the watercolor panel. I like the way it turned out. I wish you could see the shine and sparkle on "wishes" - it looks great!

Till next time,


Monday, October 20, 2014

Challenge: Anything Goes

Hi! I'm back with another Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge. My card was inspired by a recent post from Simon Says Stamp. Here's the original by Shari Carroll:

Shari Nov card kit D1

I really liked the layered paper banners, and the offset cut of the largest paper panel. I pulled out some papers from a 6 x 6 pad from My Mind's Eye. The nice thing about paper collections like this is that all the papers are designed to coordinate with one another; this simplifies things when using multiple prints together.

The hot air balloon image is also from My Mind's Eye, while the "hi" sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp. The red ink is from a REALLY OLD ink pad from a collaboration between Stampin' Up! and Ancient Page. (Some of my supplies are getting pretty ancient.)

This was pretty quick to put together. I did fussy cut the sentiment and balloon (not my favorite thing, but I like the way it looks), and ink the edges of the banner behind the sentiment. Just for fun I mounted the sentiment and balloon using foam tape to give some dimension to an otherwise flat card. Other than that it was just arranging and adhering layers of paper. I also used a 1/2" corner rounder from Crop-A-Dile on the upper right corner.

Friday, October 17, 2014

More Fall Decorating

As promised, here are the rest of the photos I took after finishing decorating for fall.

This is the coffee table in the living room. The pumpkin and horn of plenty were gifts from one of my sisters years ago. I love to get them out every year. They were made by Frankoma, an Oklahoma pottery. They are unfinished on the bottom, so to protect the table I made a runner. I found some Osnaburg at the fabric store. This is really a great fabric for anyone who likes the look of linen. Osnaburg has that look, but is made from cotton. It's really inexpensive and very easy to work with. It also irons up much easier than linen! I cut a length of fabric and stitched around all four sides. I pulled out the threads to make a fringe. Then, just for fun, I did a running stitch with orange embroidery floss around the edges. It really didn't take all that long from start to finish.

The wooden chair is from an old elementary school in Minnesota. My children attended there and I worked as a classroom assistant. It was quite old (100 years) by the time my children were there, and the decision was finally made to tear it down. Another old school was also torn down, and one new one built to replace both. The principal allowed me to take this old chair as a memento, which I thought was so nice. I love having a piece of Roosevelt Elementary!

The close-up photo shows a little display I made using some old books. Don't worry - the books were falling apart and probably ready for the recycle bin anyway. I tore off the covers, and tied them all together with a strip of burlap and some twine. I stuffed a torn piece of cheesecloth behind the twine bow and glued on a crocheted flower I had in my stash. I stamped the letters using brown ink. I could spend hours fooling around with this kind of stuff!

That wraps it up for my fall decorating. I hope you enjoyed it - I know I did! I love sitting down in a chair and seeing things all decked out.

Till next time,

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Unity Stamp Challenge

I have recently been experimenting with some of the stamps from Unity Stamp Company. Their stamps are all made in Minnesota. The prices on sale are really great, and shipping is quite reasonable. Each month, on their blog, a new challenge is posted. Participants have the choice of basing their inspiration on a sketch and/or a color scheme.

I love the look of vintage ornaments, so the photo really caught my eye. I decided to try to incorporate the colors and the card sketch. Here's the result:

I started with an off-white cardstock that I colored with Distress Ink - Old Paper, using a blending tool. Then I inked up a background stamp - Thin Stripes from Impression Obsession, using Distress Ink in Spun Sugar. The pink panels are from a 6 x 6 paper pad by Colorbok that I found at Walmart. 

The sentiment is from Unity Stamp's October 2014 Sentiment Kit. I stamped it on a plain old manila shipping tag using Ranger's black Archival ink. The tag was colored with Distress Ink Peacock Feathers, with Vintage Photo around the edges. I spread a crackle medium over the entire tag and let it dry. I love the cool crackled effect!

The thread is some heavy cotton thread that I colored using Distress Inks in Picked Raspberry and Vintage Photo. I smooshed some ink on my craft sheet and spritzed it with water. Wearing a glove to prevent stained fingers, I rubbed the thread into the ink until it was colored, then dried it with a heat tool. I wrapped both colors around the bottom of the tag, and also made a bow at the top.

Till next time,


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ready for Fall?

It takes much longer here in Oklahoma than it did in Minnesota for it to feel like fall - I know, completely obvious, right? Consequently, I have a hard time getting in the mood to decorate for fall when it's still hot all the way through September. Now that October has arrived (yikes, we're halfway through already!), I finally got out my fall goodies and got busy.

I didn't even bother will fall decorating last year, since we were still settling in after our move. This year, I was determined  to enjoy the process as much as possible. Here are some photos:

Most of what you see I had already. I did buy some additional fake pumpkins, the window frame, the small ceramic owl, and the mirror. It took several attempts to get things arranged to my satisfaction. It would probably be rather funny to watch - I'll try something and then I have to walk away. I'll turn around and look at it to see if anything seems jarring or out of place. Maybe I'll have to do some tweaking, or I might pull it all down and start again.

The only new things here are the little green ceramic pumpkin and a couple of fake pumpkins and gourds - the rest I already had. As you can see, I often use vintage books throughout my home to display things. I love the worn color and texture they add. I also have several thrift store pieces of tarnished silver. It's a good think I like the tarnish, since it saves me all that polishing!

I also decided to make a new curtain for the back door to replace the bright colorful one I had there. I think this will look good all through the winter months.

I found this fabric on sale and really liked it. The blue does a nice job of picking up the color we've painted the walls. Since it's just a panel, it was so quick and easy, although I did line it with muslin.

I hope you enjoyed this peek - I'll come back and share the rest later.

Till then - happy fall!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Challenge: O is for...

This week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is to be inspired by the letter "O". I always enjoy seeing the different interpretations that the blog design team shows us to get things going.

I chose to let "O" represent the color orange. It's a nice fall color, although the card I made doesn't have an autumn feeling at all. Here it is:

This was a fun technique-driven card. I made the background using a stencil and Distress Ink. The sentiment panel was made by smudging various Distress Inks on an acrylic block that had gridlines on it. After applying the inks, it was sprayed with water and pressed onto some watercolor paper. I really like the colorful background it created, and it was super easy. The sentiment was  stamped with Versafine black ink and layered onto the orange background. The card base is a light green cardstock.
This card went in a box for Operation Write Home.

I hope you can do something fun and creative today!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Challenge: Use Watercolors

This week's challenge from the Wednesday Simon Says Stamp blog is to use watercolors. There are so many options available, including inks, pencils, crayons or traditional watercolors, just to name a few. I thought I'd submit a card I did while practicing making a background using watercolor pencils. I got this idea from Watercolor for Cardmakers from Online Card Classes. It's a really fun class, and I can take my time working through the lessons without any deadlines.

Here's my card:

The technique involves lightly coloring a piece of watercolor paper with water soluble pencils. Then water is applied with a brush, blending as you go. It's possible to go back after drying to add additional layering and depth. The splotches add some interest and fun. I cut the watercolor panel slightly smaller than the card base and attached it to a turquoise cardstock panel.

The "hello" is one of the few word die cuts I have - I'd like to add to my collection as there are so many available in lots of fun fonts. I cut several from white cardstock and glued them together to make it thicker so it would stand out more from the card. You can see the slight shadow created by the depth of the letters.

There really isn't much to this card, but I like the way it turned out. I also like that every card would be a little different, since watercolor never turns out the same way twice.

Happy creating,


Saturday, October 4, 2014

More Apron Obsession

I have continued having some fun making aprons, and learning new things in the process. I still have several apron patterns I'd like to try!

This first apron illustrates how things often go for me. I was at the fabric store, looking for bias tape for a half-apron, and came across the cutest fabric AND it was on clearance! The clearance dot was ringed in red, so I checked the chart, and was super excited to see that it was 90% off! Wow! Of course, at that price, I had to go for it! I checked the yardage requirements of one of my patterns, and went to the counter to get the required amount. After the employee had cut it, she told me the price per yard, which was higher than I thought it should be. I'm not great at math, but I knew that what she was quoting me was not 90% off. I questioned her, and she told me that the red ring was to highlight that the dot was white, which made the fabric 50% off. Bummer! I decided to go ahead and get it anyway, but I was disappointed. Typical Immi trick, though! Here's the apron:

I realized when I was ready for the finishing touches that I had never made a buttonhole with this particular sewing machine. I discovered that it is not at all intuitive, and it took lots of trial and error on some scraps before getting it right. I finally succeeded and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. It has a single button at the top of the back and also ties around the waist in the back. The bottom front is divided into three pockets.

This next apron I made is from some fabric I had purchased quite a while ago - I can't remember what I had intended to do with it, but while I was on a roll, I went with a half apron. I don't even wear half aprons much, but I was having too much fun to quit. If I were to do this one again, I think I'd rather cut the pockets a little larger so that I could hem them rather than using the bias tape as the pattern directed. I really think this fabric is cute, and I enjoyed making such a simple project!

Now go out and do something creative!


Friday, October 3, 2014

Aprons, True Confessions, and a Thank You

I've been on a bit of a sewing kick lately. One of the flaws in my character is that I tend to flit from one thing to another. I dabble in lots of things and master none of them. Anyway, back to the sewing kick. I've meant for years to make myself some new aprons. I love all the resurgence in interest in vintage apron patterns and fabrics that is so popular now. Aprons are so utilitarian, but women have found ways to make them beautiful, too.

Here's one I made that was as cute as a button, but did not fit me at all.

I should have known! I have avoided boat neck tops for years because they do not flatter me. The large scooped yoke on this ended up being way to big for my narrow shoulders. An off-the-shoulder apron might be sexy, but would be such an annoyance in the middle of a busy working kitchen! Too bad, because I really liked the pattern and the fabric. My consolations are that I learned some things from making it, and I already had the fabric and the pattern at hand. (Here's where the True Confessions part comes in - I've had this fabric for YEARS and I Bought It With No Clear Idea What To Do With It!! Is it a character flaw to buy fabric just because???) *Note: my mom has suggested that I try some darts for a better fit - maybe I can still rescue this.

One of my favorite aprons is one that my mother made for me many years ago. It's a smock-style apron, and I have worn that thing to smithereens! I love it because it's quick and easy to put on - no fooling with ties or bows. Just a few quick snaps and I'm good to go. As you can see, it's really time for it to go to the rag bag - it's not even decent enough for Goodwill!

Old Favorite
All Worn Out!

I looked for a long time for a replacement pattern, but couldn't find what I wanted in the fabric stores. I finally stumbled on it in a newspaper and ordered it. Exactly what I wanted! I used another length of some "just because" fabric to make my new one.

Brand Spanking New!
I'm happy with the way it turned out. I did have to go to the store to buy some bias tape and the snaps. I had never worked with this type of snap fastener before, and messed up the first one. I got the hang of it though, so another lesson learned! I bid the old apron a fond farewell, and the new one is hanging in the pantry ready to go. Thanks, Mom, for a great gift! You probably had no idea how much use I would get from it, nor how much comfort I had as it became an old friend!

Till next time,