Thursday, December 23, 2010

simple thank you...

This may seem slightly out of season, but for one of my sisters, I have been making a collection of "thank you" cards for her Christmas present... (don't worry, she won't see it here... she doesn't do the whole blog thing). Lately, she has been stopping by my house and asking if she can take a few cards... I was beginning to run low on the simple "thank you" cards she likes, so I decided to make  a bunch just for her.

Anyway, I thought I would share one today.

 Paper: white cardstock
Stamps: Fancy Pants "Doodles and Things", Glitz "Distressing"
Ink: Distress ink (Vintage Photo, Victorian Velvet, Spun Sugar, Aged Mahogany), Colorbox ink (Chestnut pigment, White Frost pigment)
Other: clear embossing powder, buttons

I started out by lightly stamping the background. I didn't want it to be loud or distracting, but rather to give a soft illusion of depth.

I then stamped the flowers with Frost White pigment ink.  Because of their slow drying time, pigment inks can be used for heat embossing. So, after I stamped the flowers, I covered them with clear embossing powder, and hit it with the heat gun.  I then applied multiple distress ink colors with my ink blending tool. The embossing powder acts as a resist, so the flowers stay nice and white.

*notice all the little speckles around the flowers? That happens when you don't rub an anti-static powder over your paper before stamping & embossing.  I currently don't know where my powder is besides "in a box", so I had to do without. I don' mind the look though. I think it gives it a softer aged look. But that is my personal opinion. =)*

 I then finished it off by stamping my letters, and adding a few coordinating buttons. Simple, yet charming. Just the way she likes them. 

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

cards for the class...

Is everyone ready for the holidays? I'm not... anyone want to guess what I've been doing today?

Well, I may not be done with all my gifts, but I did get my gifts ready in time for my little Primary class... I teach the 3-4 yr olds, and they are a cute handful!

Anyway, this is the card they got, along with some candy.

Paper: Bazzill, DCWV, white cardstock
Ink: Distress ink, Powder Puff ink
Creative Inspirations paint: Rustic Red
Die Cuts: My Scrap Chick

 My new Cricut Expression got quite the workout!  I haven't done this much cutting since I got this new one to replace my dead one... I made 12 cards plus an entire nativity for the lesson...

The die cuts for the cards are all cut from my favorite cheap white cardstock. I then used distress inks to color them, and some Powder Puff ink to add definition to the edges. The hearts were painted with CI paint to give them a little something extra. It was then just a matter of gluing them all together... It sounds like a lot of work, but I just sat in front of the tv and did it assembly line style, and it went a lot quicker than I had thought it would.

Now, I don't know if all the kids liked them, as I handed them out as the kids were walking out the door... However, I did see one little girl running around showing the card and saying "I got baby Jesus!" It was precious!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

oh fudge!

Have you ever had "one of those days"?  Well, I've been having one of those WEEKS... I picked up a cold from somewhere, and between sinus headaches, tension headaches, migraines, and my stupid "head-against-metal-chair-ache",  trying to get ready for the holidays, and preparing a lesson that I had to teach Sunday... Yeah... things like my blog kinda got put on the back burner.

But I'm feeling better, and I have a challenge project to share!

This week's challenge over at Creative Inspirations Paint blog is "Inspired by: Holiday Cooking" 

Every year for as long as I can remember, my dad has made Christmas Fudge.  All us kids would help dump in chocolate chips, scoop in marshmallow cream, brake up chocolate bars, and of course, like the bowl clean after. =)
As this is such a holiday tradition, I found it natural to choose this recipe for my inspiration. 
Paper: Bazzill, white cardstock
Stamps: Inkadinkado "Beauty Stems From Here"
Ink: Colorbox Chalk, Memento, VersaMark, Distress, Alcohol ink
Creative Inspirations Paint: Chocolate, Fairydust
Other: embossing powder, ribbon, pearls, glossy accents

The brown is for the chocolate, and the cream is for the marshmallow... I also used chalk inks, for their smooth creamy texture. LOL!
 I colored the ribbon with Distress ink, then gave it a nice coat of Fairydust CI paint to add some festive shimmer.

Notice the creamy texture of the chalk inks! Yum!
Also, because of the opaque nature of chalk inks, they work well on both light and dark paper.  Fun stuff!

So, there is my fudge inspired project... Makes me want to go eat some.. no, MUST wait til Christmas, MUST wait til Christmas.... Must wait... must... umm.... Gotta go!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the business of beeswax...

Why is it that all the good LSS go out of business?  I found out last night, that the last LSS that I like that is anywhere near me is closing it's doors.  I went there last night to find beeswax for a project I'm working on. I knew they would have it... Stores like that carry the odd things the chain stores don't. When I got to the parking lot, I saw the big "store closing sale" sign, and my heart sagged. They did have the beeswax I needed, and some great deals on their stuff, but it is hard to get excited about a sale that is so sad. 

Then today, I was on a quest to find more beeswax (as I needed more than the LSS had left). I first checked online to see who *might* have it. I was surprised that most stores I looked at said they don't carry it. I decide to check the actual stores (as I know some of their websites aren't the best indication of what they carry). I checked in the paper craft areas, and I *tried* to check in the candle and soap making areas as that would be a logical place to sell beeswax. I guess candle making has gone out of style here cuz half the stores don't carry the supplies anymore. After trying Joanns, Michaels, and Roberts, I was running out of options within reasonable driving distance, but I didn't want to order online as this was for Christmas presents... yeah, late start, but that is another story.  I finally found some at Hobby Lobby, so I'm a happy camper. I just wish all the LSS were doing well enough to stay around. They carry thing that are very hard to find other places.

Ok, enough of my yakking... Here is a project I was going to post a while ago, but blogger didn't want to load the pictures until today. Go fig.

 Paper: Coredinations,  watercolor paper, white cardstock
Ink: Archival, Distress, Mark-it, Inksenssials Opaque white
Stamps: Great Impressions "Christmas Town"
Creative Inspirations paint: Fairy Dust

I stamped the image with Archival ink onto watercolor paper. I then used Distress inks to watercolor the image in.  I added shadowing to the snow using "Pumice Stone" Distress ink, then covered it with CI "Fairy Dust". I could have used the "Winter Frost" which is a white color, but I wanted to make sure my shadows showed up, and since they were fairly light, I went with the clear "Fairy Dust".

I went around the edges with some brown Distress ink to give it a bit more of a vintage feel, I then doodled in some stitch lines with a Mark-it fine tip. I love those markers!

I'll be sharing some beeswax projects soon, along with some other projects I have been working on but haven't had time to photograph yet...This month is becoming increasingly crazy! 

Ok.. gotta take care of myself now, so I can kick this stupid cold. I hate being sick! Yuck!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

umbrellas and birds...

You know the expression "When it rains, it pours"?   Well, I'm kinda wishing I could find an umbrella right about now. To say this has been a stressful, crazy, and roller coaster of a week would be a good start. LOL! 

 I had good intention to blog more this week.  I have had photos in a folder just waiting to be blogged.  I was going to try to be so good... Sigh. 

Life happens, and we do what we can and move on. So, I will share a few cards I've had in my "blog" folder and maybe next week will be a little calmer. 

 Paper: white cardstock
Stamps: Prima "Music", Heartfelt Creations
Ink: Archival, Distress, VersaMark, Mark-it
Creative Inspirations paint: Rustic Red
Other: ribbon, Perfect Pearls, embossing powder

this one is all about layering the inks. No fancy papers or embellies... The background was stamped, then I used distress ink to fill in the color, building up darker layers towards the edges. I heat embossed the image, and added a touch of CI paint to the bird for that extra little shimmer and pop of color. 

 Paper: white cardstock, tissue paper
Stamps: Prima "Music", Sassafrass "Collage Trim", Kaisercraft "Grid", Great Impressions "Dove of Peace"
Ink" Archival, Distress
Other: ribbon, rhinesotne

This one was also a lot of ink layering. However, the red borders were stamped onto tissue paper and cut out. I then carefully glued them on. they are semi-transparent once glued on, giving it a nice collage-y feel.

Paper: white cardstock
Stamps: Heartfelt Creations
Ink: Versmark, Distress, Mark-it
Creative Inspirations Paint: Winter Frost
Other: embossing powder

This one was stamped and heat embossed. I then began coloring the image in with various shades of Distress ink. I dabbed on "snow" with CI's Winter Frost on the pinecone (thought you can't tell from this picture, it has a great frosty shimmer IRL). The background was really a mistake that I made work for me. I was trying to do something with the paper, but it was too wet from all the ink, so it started to pill. It wasn't in a place that I could easily hide with a ribbon or other embellishment. I was about ready to toss it, and start again, when I decided I would try purposely pilling the paper in random areas to distress it. (by pilling I mean rubbing off the top layer or so of the paper. This is easy to do with regular cardstock that is wet.) I then added a little more Distress ink over it so it wasn't so stark. It gave it an interesting texture and look, and I ended up being glad that I didn't trash this one. You never know what great things you can come up  with when you make a "mistake"... or perhaps the better word would be "happy accident".


Monday, December 6, 2010

the seaweed is always greener...

Well, this isn't the project I was planning on posting, but for some reason beyond my comprehension, Blogger isn't wanting to upload the photos of the project I wanted to share today. I'll have to try again tomorrow. Maybe it will like those pictures then. 

This is a project that I actually did a little while ago when I ran into a creative block doing Christmas cards.  It ended up being really fun, and kinda got me addicted to making color sprays using Tsukineko All Purpose inks (API).  There are a couple or reasons I really like using these inks for sprays...

1) The color is great! It doesn't take much ink to get a very vibrant color
2) These inks are made for a wide variety of surfaces.  I like using Distress ink for sprays, but these inks can do great stuff on ribbon and fabric along with paper, and once it is heat set, it is permanent. I want to play around with  masking and spraying a tee-shirt... 
3) It really expands my color palette for sprays!  (My mom has been collecting these inks for a while for quilting, so I just dig in her stash and make my sprays. She doesn't mind... as long as I make sprays for her too. LOL!
4) They play well with the Distress ink sprays I already use
5) They have some shimmery ones you can add to your spray for a beautiful shine. Yes, I like a little bling.  *hehehe*

Paper: White Cardstock
Ink: Tsukineko All Purpose Ink, Archival, Distress, Powder Puff
Stamps: Fancy Pants "Pollen Dust"
Other: Tattered Angels "Seaside" glimmer screen

Ok, so my studio is in the process of moving to a new room...I'm not really sure where the notes I took on this card are, but I think I got all the products used...

The blue was sprayed on first. That is a Distress ink spray (Broken China, I think). I then plopped on the seahorse screen, and  sprayed an API spray over it. The spray was a dark pink with a gold shimmer, but because of the translucent nature of dye inks, it turned a lovely shade of purple when sprayed over the blue. That is something to remember... You can build ink colors by layering them. Lots of fun!  I used Archival ink to stamp the flourishes. I then went around the edges with black Powder Puff ink to give it a finished look, and help draw the eye in.

This card is very elegant, yet very simple when you break it down.

Don't have the brand name screens and masks? No problem. Try making your own with the Cricut or other die cutting machine. For a one-time use mask, you can use vinyl, or cardstock (it needs to be heavy enough that the ink you apply over it won't seep through). If you want a more permanent mask, there is stencil material, or acetate. If you don't want to have to hold your mask while inking, spraying, painting, and stamping, you can add a little re-positionable adhesive on the back of your mask.

Ok.. I'm not really sure why I'm blogging at 1 am, but I really should get to bed. LOL! 


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas shells...

well... after digging our way out of the 16 inches or so of snow we got Sunday, I'd say it is beginning to look like Christmas. LOL!

So here is a little peek of the Christmas presents I have been working on the past week...
(sorry about the glare. It was too cloudy to take sunlight photos, and the sealant is so shiny that it reflects the light no matter what angle I shoot from... grrr.)

These are real shells that my parents brought back for me from their last visit to the ocean. (about time I got around to using them, huh). I love the natural colors and designs they have.  The stamps used on these three are all by Great Impressions Stamps.

Anyway... since nothing good is on tv right now, I think I'll turn on an audio book and get more crafting done.... 
Have a fabulous night!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Hey guys!  

Just wanted to share what I'm doing over at the CI blog today... 
  So grab your paint and brushes (and power drills...), and lets have some fun!

What you will need:

Power Drill (trust me)
Scrap of wood
Acrylic Paint
  (gasp!  yes, I really am using acrylic paint on this project)
Creative Inspirations paint
(sigh... ok, life can get back to normal... hehehe)
Sealant (decoupage glue/sealant works well)
What you want to decorate with....

I'm using:
Solvent ink (like StazOn)
Ranger Distress Crackle paint (clear)
Distress ink

*Quick tip before we start... I didn't want to ruin my good set of dominos that my family plays with, so I went out and found a really cheap set (meant to be a stocking stuffer). I think I spent $3 on mine at Michaels*

ok... now on to the fun stuff! Power tools! LOL!

Step 1: Use a strong double stick tape to secure your domino to a scrap block of wood. (I use old wooden stamp blocks.)  This does two things... protects your work area from accidental holes, and allows you to hold your domino from a safe distance. 

 Step 2: Carefully drill a hole(s) in your domino. This will be for attaching to a necklace or hook, or whatever you want to attach your altered domino to.  Start very slow until you have a nice hole started, then you can speed up.  (you can do this by hand, but trust me... the blisters hurt!)

Warning: PLEAE follow all safety guidelines for your power tool!  I don't want anyone injured while crafting!

 Step 3: When you feel your drill hit the wood beneath the domino, carefully remove the drill.

 Step 4: Give your domino a nice base coat of acrylic paint. This will help the CI paints stick better and thus requiring fewer coats.

Step 5: Allow to dry completely

 Step 6: Paint on some Creative Inspirations paint. I'm using Green Olive.

Step 7: Allow to dry
 Step 8: Apply a second coat of CI paint if desired.

Step 9: Allow to dry

Step 10: Decorate!

I'll walk you through what I did...
 I used black StazOn  to ink up my stamp (Fancy Pants)

 I then carefully stamped my image on the domino. This can be tricky as the stamp wants to slide on  the slick surface.

 I then covered part of the domino with Rock Candy Distress Crackle paint. This is a clear crackle paint by Ranger, and it is a great way to add interest and texture.

 When that was dry, I rubbed in some Distress ink. (like other crackle projects I've shown, the paint will resist the ink. This means that the ink will only stay on the insides of the cracks... It is a great way to bring out the texture and give an antiqued look

 Step 11: Coat with a sealant.  This is a very important step to ensure your painted masterpiece can withstand water and scratches.

When mine was dry, I strung a cording through it with a simple knot, and made a fun necklace. (yes, I know, pink doesn't really match the domino, but hey, it was that or a blue-green cord...LOL) You can really see the shimmer of the CI paints in this photo.
 I'm thinking they would make some fun Christmas ornaments... Now I want to go play! =)

have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 26, 2010

who says you can't have candy for breakfast?

Anyone hungry?

Perhaps my family is a bit strange, but it is tradition to make gingerbread houses (or trains, or trees...) on Thanksgiving.  It is also traditional to decorate these gingerbread masterpieces with Starbursts.  

Each year our creativity is challenged as we try to "out do" last year's project... 

This year, I think my brother and his wife really stepped up to the challenge! This fabulous breakfast is made from Starburst, Tootsie Rolls, frosting, pepper, and ketchup. (and yes, my brother did eat some of it. LOL!)

I hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

flickin' snow...

I've got another Christmas card to share with you all today...  This one has a little bit more going on because it was made for my Saturday tutorial over at Creative Inspirations blog.

Paper: white cardstock
Stamps: Great Impressions "Country Snowman", Prima "Music", Glitz "Distressing"
Ink: VersaMark, VersaMagic, Distress, Mark-it
CI paint: Winer Frost
Other: ribbon, embossing powder

In this photo you can see all the speckled shimmery goodness of the flicking technique.
You can check out the CI blog for a full tutorial, but basically, I get a very juicy pile of paint loaded onto a paint brush, and flick it all over the place.  (this is a very fun way to get random splotches, but be aware... you will get paint on everything else in the area, so you may want to cover or move anything you don't want shimmery.)

 I also did a little masking of the snowman, and lightly stamped a background. A little faux stitching with a pen decorates the edges.
Ok.. enough of me yakkin' for now. =)
Have a fabulous Saturday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

a few quickies

Hey everyone! 
I had plans to get some of the Christmas cards posted yesterday, but I chose a very inconvenient time to be klutzy.... so, now that the swelling has gone down, and I can think straight again, I'm here to share a few cards. =) 

This first one uses some masking and stamping.... Nothing overly fancy as I am on a time crunch here. 
Paper: white cardstock
Ink: Distress, Archival, American Crafts
Stamps: Great Impressions "Winter Bicycle" "Merry Christmas", Glitz "Distressing"
Other: ribbon, Accents Essentials, and Cricut "Plantin Schoolbook" (for the mask)

This next one is is a simple stamped background with the focal image heat embossed over it. A few rhinestones and a big red bow to "tie" it all together... LOL!
Paper: White cardstock
Ink: Distress ink, Tsukineko All Purpose ink, VersaMark
Stamps: Inkadinkado "Holiday Filigree", SEI "Mimosa"
Other: embossing powder, ribbon, rhinestones

So there are a couple of the Christmas cards I have been doing... I know they are simple, but I have a ton to get done in the next few weeks, so I decided I would stick with simple and done rather than fancy and me wanting to tear my head off with stress. LOL!

Have a fabulous evening!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

roses are red...

Hey everyone! 
I'm currently on a mad dash to get my Christmas card requests done, and  haven't been taking the time to photograph each one when I finish... I'll get to that before I send them off though =)

AND... I am happy to say that my brand new Cricut Expression is sitting happily in my studio. *sigh*  My old one was getting very finicky, and was suffering from a slow and painful death, so I knew it was time to replace it.  My first cut on the new machine was amazing! I had forgotten what it was like to not have to force feed the paper in. LOL!

Anyway, I wanted to jump on today and share the card I made for the current challenge over at the CI blog.  The theme for this week is mythology.  I LOVE mythology! I love the different stories from the different cultures!  And I had a very hard time choosing which myth to let inspire me... I finally went with one of the first myths I remember learning (and knowing it was mythology).... The story of Demeter and Persephone and how the seasons came to be... It is a story about Hades snatching Persephone and keeping her in the underworld to be his queen... while she was gone, her mother morned her loss and stopped the earth from growing (winter)... when she finally got her daughter back, she made the flowers grow again (spring)... 
Paper: white cardstock
Stamps: Fancy Pants "Delight", Kaisercraft "Grunge", Inkadinkado "Letter", Prima "Music"
Cricut: Create a Critter, Cindyloo
Ink: Distress, Archival, Memento, VersaMark, Alcohol ink
Creative Inspirations Paint: Rose Quartz
Other: ribbon, embossing powder, stamen, Diamond Dust

For the base of the card, I used white cardstock. The brown side is just covered in Distress ink, then stamped over. I heat embossed the other side with white embossing powder, and then covered in Distress ink. This gives a very stark resist.
The ribbon was painted with Rose Quartz, then stamped with Archival ink

The flower is made up of 15 individual petals I designed using Cindyloo and my Gypsy. They are all inked and stamped, then I added glue to the edges and dipped them in colored Diamond Dust.  The whole thing is then glued together and stamens inserted in the center.

Diamond Dust is a glitter made of tiny flakes of glass...To color the Diamond Dust, I simply put some in a small plastic bag, add a drop or two of Alcohol ink, and shake.  I then dump them out onto paper to dry.  

 The leaf is from Create  a Critter. It has been stamped, inked, scrunched, then partially coved in colored Diamond Dust.

I'm hoping that once things settle back down here at my house, I will get back in the habit of sharing more of what I'm doing on my blog.... Just gotta get through the next couple of months, and I might be able to slow down enough to take a breath... Or, maybe not... LOL!

Ok.... Guess I better get back to work...  I'll try to get pictures taken of the Christmas cards I've been working on to share with you.
Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

diggin' in the stash...

To be completely honest, as much as I love ink, I don't use pigment ink for stamping very much... I usually use dye or solvent inks. So, I dug out some old (ok, very old) pigment inks to play with for a challenge. So, this is just a quickie I started last night and finished up this morning...
Paper: Bazzill, white card
Stamps: Inkadinkado "Beauty Stems From Here", Fancy Pants "Delight"
Ink: Distress ink, VersaMark, Colorbox Chalk ink, Powder Puff
Other: glitter, ribbon, embossing powder, rhinestones

After embossing the flower, I added a little bit of color with Distress ink, and a couple colors of glitter to the center.
Rhinestones... what can I say, I love them. =)

Notice the stamping on the black paper. That is what I was playing with... Because pigment ink is opaque, it shows up well on dark paper. (It probably would have worked better if the ink wasn't so old...)
Anyway, nothing fancy, but it was a good reminder of how fun pigment inks can be.... It can be easy to get stuck in a rut and use the same things over and over... That's why I like to challenge myself to use different techniques/products every once in a while.

So go dig out something you haven't used in a while, and rediscover why you once loved it. =)


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

catch them leaves...

Well, Autumn has hit my house.... Leaves are dropping of the trees in heaps! We can't keep up with the crunch bits of color.

And in honor of this, I have a fall card to share with you. I decided not to dress it up to frilly so it can be used as a masculine card.
Paper: Coredinations, watercolor paper, white cardstock
Ink: Distress ink, Memento, Powder puff, VersaMark
Stamps: Inkadinkado "Letter", "Fall squares"
Creative Inspirations Paint: Cunshine
Other: Provo Craft "Divine Swirls" embossing folder, Embossing powder, waxy flax

I colored the cardstock yellow with distress ink. I then embossed the leaves with clear embossing powder. After that, I applied a thick layer of brown ink over the whole thing. The clear embossing powder acts a a resist and the light color pops.

I then mixed water into a puddle of Sunshine CI paint and flicked it over the piece. This gives it a random flash of shimmer.
I ran the blue paper through my Cuddlebug to emboss the swirls. I sanded the top of it to bring out the soft inner color.

A little edge inkin' and layering, and this card is done.

This card is not only season appropriate, but it fits the requirements for the CI challenge of the week... You can check it out here.

I really need to get some scrapbooking done... but, first I think I need to make Christmas cards.... Guess I better get back to work... LOL!
Have a wonderful day!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

pink polka dots...

Hello everyone!
I've decided to take a short break from holiday projects to share an any-day card. (Don't worry, more holiday projects are sure to show up here soon.)
Paper: Bazzill, watercolor paper, acetate, white cardstock
Stamps: Inkadinkado "Beauty Stems From Here"
Ink: Staz-on, Distress, Memento
Die Cuts: Nestabilities "Label Six"
CI paint: Pink Highlights
Other: Provo Craft "Polka Dots" embossing folder, ribbon
The flowers were watercolored with various shades of Distress ink.

I stamped the dragonfly twice... Once on the card, and once on a scrap of acetate. I painted the back side of the wings with Creative Inspirations Paint Pink Highlights. It is a clear color with a pink shimmer in the right light... So much fun! I then cut out the acetate dragonfly and glued the two dragonflies together. I put glue only body so the wings could move freely...

The ribbon was dyed using Distress reinkers and water in a mini mister. I sprayed the ribbon, and let it dry. I love how well it matches and how smooth the color is. *you can also dye ribbon with the Distress ink pads.. Simply swipe the pad over a non porous surface (like an acrylic block) spritz with water, then drag your ribbon through the puddle of ink. Simple, simple. and a little messy, but that makes it fun. =)*
I sent the pink paper through my Cuttlebug to emboss polka dots... Since Bazzill is not a color core, I used ink to highlight the raised areas. I chose to go with a pink to give it a nice subtle tone on tone look...

Well, that's it for me... off to get more stuff done...