Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Unity Stamp Challenge

I've got a card today that was inspired by the current Unity Stamp Challenge. My card is loosely based on the card sketch they provided.

Here's my interpretation:

I started with a piece of watercolor paper, and stamped the bicycle image (Reasons to Smile by Unity Stamp) with Versafine Onyx Black. I covered the wet ink with clear embossing powder and heat set it.

Next I pulled out several color of Distress inks and rubbed some of the color on my non-stick craft sheet. Using water and a brush, I applied the inks in a watercolor style. I set it aside to dry while I worked on the card background. (After it was dry, I rounded the edges with a Corner Chomper and stitched it to piece of gray cardstock.)

I thought it would be nice to have the effect of rays of sun coming down from the top left, so I chose the Stripes stencil from Tim Holtz and rubbed Squeezed Lemonade Distress ink through the stencil using an ink blending tool. To mimic the stripes on the card sketch, I used some complementary papers from Vintage Bliss by Simple Stories.

For the sentiment (Big Summertime Bouquet by Unity Stamp), I blended Tumbled Glass Distress ink on a scrap of white paper, then stamped the image with Versafine Black and heat embossed the same way I did the bicycle. I cut the strip with notched ends, and layered it on a scrap of black cardstock. 

Everything was layered on the card base with adhesive - for the smaller pieces, I find it easier to use glue.

Happy crafting!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Wrapping Things Up, Part II

As promised, here are a few more samples of cards I sent to Operation Write Home this week. As it turned out, I had to use more than one box - I had more than I thought!

Thanks for taking the time to look!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrapping Things Up

Today marks the end of something I've enjoyed. For several years, I've been making cards for Operation Write Home. This is an organization that has collected hand-made cards from volunteers and sent them on to military personnel who can then use them to send home a card for a special occasion or just to let their loved ones know they miss them and are thinking of them.

I've lost track of how many cards I've sent, but it's been in the thousands - and I've enjoyed every minute of it! Currently, the number of units requesting cards has dropped dramatically. The decision has been made to suspend operations and all remaining cards from volunteers are due by August 1. I decided that I would be done when I used up all my OWH stickers (required for the back of the card).

Here are a few cards that I'll be sending in my box this week.

Since there are several cards, I won't go through all the steps of making them. I used a variety of techniques and had some fun trying new things. I'll post the rest later this week.

Till next time,


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Birthday Card

Three of my grandchildren have birthdays in June - keeps us busy attending parties, but we love to participate! I thought I'd share a card today that I've made for one of those birthdays - my soon-to-be 3 year old granddaughter.

This card features a stamp set from Unity Stamps, located in Minnesota. These little chickies are so cute! I stamped the chicks and the sentiment block on watercolor paper with Archival black ink. I used a small watercolor set from Koi to do some simple coloring. 

Since these are small images, I decided to make a tag from the watercolor paper. I used my grandmother's pinking shears to cut the bottom, then layered it onto a slightly larger scrap of purple cardstock. (I always save my scraps until they're teeny-weeny!) I cut the hole reinforcer from a scrap of blue glitter paper from DCWV, using a die from the Framelits Tag Collection by Sizzix. The yellow ribbon is from my stash.

I used some patterned papers for layering from a couple of 6x6 paper pads. The pink/orange is from Happy Day by My Mind's Eye, and the green is from Light Bright by Colorbok. I had half a doily sitting on my work surface, left over from another project, so I thought it would be fun to include that as well.

For the card base, I used a piece of Stampin' Up! Tempting Turquoise. The holes were cut using a border punch called Swiss Cheese by EK Success. 

Although it doesn't show up well in a photo, I also used clear Wink of Stella to add some sparkle to the chickie's hats and some of the stamped embellishments in the sentiment block. On top of that, I put a coat of Glossy Accents. In the light, it shows up well, very sparkly and shiny.

The starting point for this card is the current challenge on the Unity Stamp blog. I thought the colors in the inspiration photo were so cheerful!

Till next time,


Monday, June 8, 2015

Take a Technique: Texture

I made this card a while back, and thought it would be a good fit for the latest Take It Make It challenge from Craft Stamper. The challenge this month is to use texture. This card has rough and smooth texture because of the papers I used.

Here's my card:

I started with a piece of watercolor paper which has a rough side and a smoother side. I chose the rough side. I inked up the Measured stencil by Tim Holtz with several mini Distress ink pads. Then after spritzing the stencil with water, I pressed the inked side down onto the paper and let it absorb for a minute. If you look closely at the lower left corner of the panel, you can see one of the numbers fairly clearly.

Next, with black Archival ink, I used the butterfly stamp from Stamper's Anonymous Papillon and stamped over the (dry) Distress inked background. I layered this panel onto some black cardstock, leaving just a thin edge showing.

Next I chose a patterned vellum (here's my smooth texture) and layered it over orange cardstock. I stitched the two together around the edges (more texture from the stitching). After taping this to the card front, I taped down my watercolored panel.

Finally, I stamped a tiny sentiment (Thanks Script by A Muse ArtStamps) with Versafine black and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder (nice raised texture). I cut a notch in one end of the panel and layered it onto black cardstock, again leaving a thin edge showing. I mounted this to the card front with some foam squares, which give some additional depth and interest.

Hope you enjoyed today's project!


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Ombre is Hot!

Now that summer "vacay" has started, I'm enjoying more time in my studio again. I'm hoping to participate in some challenges this summer, so I'm starting off with the latest challenge on Virgina's View Challenge blog. The challenge is to include an ombre color scheme or monochromatic color scheme or both.

Ombre is hot, hot, hot right now - and lots of fun, too. Recently, Hero Arts released some ombre ink pads, and I was able to pick up a couple at my local Hobby Lobby. (Of course, I always use a 40% coupon - so nice that I can pull it up on my phone!)

Here's my card:

I started with a 4.5" x 5.25" piece of white cardstock and Hero Arts Canvas background stamp. I inked the stamp with Hero Arts Butter to Orange Ombre Ink Pad, following the advice of Jennifer McGuire to get a good blend. The color change is subtle, but pretty.

Next I cut another piece of white cardstock with the largest tag from Sizzix Alterations Tag Collection Framelits die set. Using an ink blending tool and one of my good old Stampin' Up! ink pads - Barely Banana, I colored the tag. Next I used a new-to-me stamp set (bought on clearance at Hobby Lobby!) - also by Alterations - French Flight. (Although I didn't make use of it on this card, this stamp set comes with the matching dies.) I inked the butterfly stamp with Ripe Persimmon Distress ink, stamped it and heat set it. I used some Spiced Marmalade Distress ink on the very edges of the tag and the canvas stamped panel. I also cut the same tag shape from a scrap of textured orange cardstock.

To assemble everything, I attached the canvas panel to my last piece of Barely Banana cardstock. I layered the two tags and adhered them towards the left side of the card front. I made a double loop bow from some thin American Crafts twine in orange and glued it to the top of the tag with Multi Medium Matte by Ranger. I stamped the greeting from Altenew's Hennah Elements with black Versafine ink on a scrap piece of white cardstock I'd colored with Ripe Persimmon ink. I covered the sentiment with clear embossing powder and heat set it, then using some tiny pieces of foam tape I attached it towards the bottom right. A few Doodlebug & Studio Calico sequins were glued down with the same matte medium.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but really went together fairly quickly. I probably spent more time agonizing over where the sequins should go than I did on anything else! Some card artists make it look so easy, but it's not intuitive for me at all. 

Hope your summer is off to a good start!