Tuesday, October 31, 2017

custom embossed word banners

Hello my fabulous friends!!!

I was one of two designers that shared a project on the LDRS Creative blog today! Check it out by clicking HERE to see the quick tip I shared, and the amazing project that my very talented teammate  Raluca shared. So much talent on that team! I'm inspired by them, and I hope you are too!

 Paper: LDRS Creative Winter Land; The Paper Studio Glam Glitter
Dies: LDRS Creative Merry word die, Snowy Day border die

I wanted to challenge myself to make a card with the focus on dies, and NO stamps allowed.... 

Wait... No stamps?!?!?

I know, crazy! 

I love stamps! They are generally the focal point of my cards.... 

But that's what makes this a challenge!
And honestly, pushing myself to do a style or concept that I generally don't do is a great way to get myself out of a creative rut and generate new ideas. 

Since I honestly love these dies, it was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. 

The hardest part was finishing the sentiment.... I wanted the word "Christmas", but it needed to be small.... and I couldn't stamp it... So I got creative. 

I promised on the LDRS Creative blog that I would go into details on how I made the custom word banner... So,  here we go!

First off, you will need an embossing label maker. Not one of the new ones that print labels... I mean the older kind that you squeeze the handle and it embosses the letters on the plastic tape. 
*note: your's doesn't have to be QUITE as old as mine... This is one I inherited from my grandfather, and we'll just say that the copyright date on the instructions says 1965.  
You can still find embossing label makers on sites like Amazon... 

Step 1: You need to cut a strip of card stock the width of the tape your label maker uses... Mine actually allows two sizes, so I chose the 1/4 inch size. There are two important things to note  with this step...

First:  The paper. You need to use a heavier weight card stock that has a colored front and a different color core (the more contrast between the printed color and the core, the better.) The paper packs that LDRS Creative sells work perfectly! They are heavy weight, with a printed front and a white core. I used the more solid colored end of the paper so it would be easier to read when I'm done. 

Second:  Exact measuring and cutting is really important! If you cut your strip too wide, it won't go through the machine. If you cut it too narrow, it will slide around and make things all skewed. 

Step 2: Remove your tape roll, and slide your paper strip in, loading it exactly as you would load the normal plastic tape. For mine, I open the handle, feed it through the slot, with the top side of the paper facing up... I have no idea if all label makers load the same... just load the paper as you would load the tape, and you should be fine. 

Step 3: Emboss your message.... following the instructions for your label maker. For mine, I spin the letter wheel until the letter I want is in the metal bracket, then I squeeze the handle. If the paper is cut well, it should move through the feeder without any problems. 

Step 4: To make the letters pop, take a sanding block (or an emery board ) and LIGHTLY go over the embossed letters. You don't want to flatten them, you just want to sand off the color from the raised areas to expose the core. 

I stopped here.. I cut the banner down to size and glued it on.

 If you want it to look more like the original plastic tape, go ahead and put a layer of Glossy Accents over the top. It will give it that plastic sheen. 

Do you make holiday cards? Are your's done? Have you started?

Hopefully today's post have given you some inspiration no matter what projects you are working on!



Tuesday, October 24, 2017

altenew color challenge...

Hello my fabulous friends!

 I wanted to jump on real quick and share a fun card I made...

Paper: Strathmore Bristol Smooth, Georgia Pacific
Stamps: Altenew Peony Bouqet, Amazing You
Ink: VersaMark; VersaFine Onyx Black; Zig Clean Color (028, 061, 052, 230, 021, 046, 043
Other: clear embossing powder; Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear sequins

This set is actually a layering stamp set, but one of the great things about stamps is you don't HAVE to stick to what design is on the package! I just used the outline stamps to build my own bouquet, masking between the layers.  

It's been a while since I have pulled out my Zig Clean Color markers. It was so fun going back to an old favorite! I heat embossed the images using clear embossing powder... I love the end result of this technique.  It's fun doing watercolor techniques because each piece comes out different, and you can layer colors to create new colors!

Speaking of colors, my colors today were inspired by the Altenew Inspiration Challenge for October.
Isn't that a beautiful color palette???


If these colors speak to you (or challenge you), you still have a week to join in the fun!!! 


Saturday, October 21, 2017

when the power goes out...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Fall has officially hit my house! The colors of the leaves are STUNNING! 

The rain and wind... have also been impressive. 

Actually, wind and rain are typical for autumn here on the western side of Washington... but after the dry summer, the rain is quite a change. 

With the coming of shorter, wetter days,  comes more time in the studio. 

Sometimes in the dark....

The power went out and I still needed to work... so a battery light hung from a tripod with binder clips it is! LOL!
Paper: Georgia Pacific; Paper Studio Glam Glitter
Stamps: LDRS Creative/Polkadoodles Gingerbread Love
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Uniball Signo; Distress Ink Salty Ocean; Gellyroll Clear Star; Copic RV63,V05, RV66, RV69, YG23, YG25, YG17, G29, W0, W1, W3, W5, N4, N6, N9, N10, E00, E21, R21, V20, BV000, E55, E57, E29, V22, E35, E39, E43, E44, E49, BG0000, BG000, B00, 0, multiliner
Dies: LDRS Creative Snowy Day

While this is set of stamps is geared towards Christmas, I wanted a winter 'thank you' card, so I chose some fun colors that didn't exactly scream Christmas... If you filled the background with fall trees, you could just as easily have a fall card!

I love sets that are good for more than one specific holiday! 

I used the Snowy Day border die to create a mask for my background. The sky is Distress ink, and while it's hard to see in the picture, I used my Gellyroll Clear Star pen to add sparkle along the top edge of the snow and in her shadow.

Well, I need to get back to work...

Have a wonderful weekend!


Sunday, October 15, 2017

fall flowers with LDRS Creative...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Guess what today is???

My FIRST official post on the LDRS Creative blog! 
(you can check it out HERE)

Paper: LDRS Creative Splendid Azure; Georgia Pacific
Stamps: LDRS Creative Eleganza, Just Because
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Uniball Signo White gel pen; Copic Y18, YR16, YR18, BV000, E37, E18, E19, YG95, YG97, YG99
Dies: LDRS Creative Eleganza, Majestic Rectangle Labels
Other: Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear Sequins

To create the window, I die cut through the front of the card. This is such a fun shaped die for doing windows! I also saved the inside parts of the die cut. The sentient was stamped through the window onto the inside of the card so it can be seen when the card is open and closed. I glued the little inside parts of the die cut onto the inside of the card so you get the whole shape of the die even though it's a window. I then decorated the window with the adorable Eleganza flowers. (aren't they fun?!!)

Quick tip: For a little extra texture I added some white gel pen dots to the centers of my flowers... However I didn't want them to look too harsh.. You can see the top flower, all of the white dots are dots, and really stand out... if that's the look you want, GREAT!!! I wanted something softer. So... while the  little dots were still wet, I touched them with my thumb... This smudges them, softens them, and helps them to blend into the image instead of sitting on top of the image. You can see in the bottom flower that the dots tend to blend in, while still adding that little bit of highlight and texture. This is a great way to stretch your supplies and get more than one look with the same stuff!

*Be sure to check out my post on the LDRS Creative Blog for a quick tip on how to tone back colors with Copic markers!

I'm curious, what is your favorite finishing detail for your projects?

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, October 13, 2017

winter friends...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Did you know that in Australia there are little penguins (about 13 inches tall) that are BLUE? 
They are called Fairy penguins (or Little Blue penguins). Do an image search... They are adorable!

I found out this fun fact when I did an image search for penguins to give me some references for coloring these ADORABLE  stamps....

Paper: Georgia Pacific; Paper Studio Glitter Glam
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Uniball Signo; Gellyroll Clear Star; Distress Ink Salty Ocean, Tumbled Glass; Copic C2, C3, C5, C7, W1, W2, W3, T5, T7, E51, E11, V20, RV32, R81, R83, R89, BG32, BG15, BG49, E31, E35, E39, G40, YG17, G28, B99, B97, B95, E84, E87, E89, BG0000, BG000, 100, 0, multiliner
Dies: LDRS Creative Snowy Day
Other: Twine

Aren't these adorable stamps!?!?!?

I'll be honest, this was one of those projects that I started with a specific vision, but ended up doing something completely different... This actually happens to me a lot... I have an idea, but when I start diving in, I find that it isn't working out quite how I wanted, or different colors start calling to me, or I just decide that it really needs to go a different direction.. I love where it ended up! 

Because I changed directions mid-creation, I did things a little out of order from what I would normally do... 

I started by stamping my main image onto Georgia Pacific card stock using Memento Tuxedo Black. I then colored it in using Copics. 

Then I decided to do a background... So I had to make a mask. I stamped the same image onto some Eclipse masking paper. I fussy cut it out (including using an Exacto knife to cut out the inside parts of the image where the sky would show through... like under her back arm). This will protect my coloring. 

I also wanted to create some ground for the bear to be standing on, but I didn't want a flat line, so I die cut some masking paper using the new Snowy Day border die and added that mask to the bottom of the card. Instant snow banks!

I used and ink blending tool to make the sky with Tumbled Glass and Salty Ocean Distress Inks.

After removing the masks, I added in some shadows with Copics and some snow sparkles with my Gellyroll Clear Star pen. 

I also added this cute little penguin... In my original design, the penguin was going to be a moving piece (which is why it wasn't just stamped and masked with the  bear)... Instead I ended up just fussy cutting it and glueing it on... It works. 

I added a few more details like sparkly frost on the tree (using the Gellyroll Clear Star pen), and a twine bow to finish it up...

Have a wonderful weekend!



Saturday, October 7, 2017

happy world card making day!!!

Hello my fabulous friends!!! 

Happy World Card Making Day!!!
In honor of the holiday, I have been working on a bunch of cards today... But, I only have one I can share with you right now. 

Paper: Georgia Pacific; Bazzill, flocked paper
Stamps: Crafters Companion: Winter Wishes
Ink: Memento: Tuxedo Black; Distress Ink: Salty Ocean; Copic: E50, E51, E53, E57, E59, E49, E47, E77, YG69, G29, YG25, R35, R29, R39, 0
Dies: Polkadoodles: Dainty Doily Border

Isn't he sweet?!?!
I kept this card fairly simple...

The image is stamped with Tuxedo Black Memento ink. I then used Copics to color it in. I went around the edges with an ink blending tool and some Salty Ocean Distress ink to give it the illusion of a background without actually having to color one... 

I knew I wanted my little bear's toes to appear as if they pop out.. so I used my paper trimmer to cut a straight line from the edge of the paper to the edge of the legs on each side. I then fussy cut along the bottom edge of the legs to connect the two lines. They look like they are kicked out forward, but in reality, it is fairly flat, and won't run into any trouble in the mail. 

I wanted to give a nice border for him to be siting on (after all, I didn't want him just hanging out in the middle of nowhere!). I decided to use the Polkadoodles Dainty Doily Border die (I love this die!). It made the perfect platform for my bear. However I wasn't really liking the overall feel of the card with the various papers I was considering to use with  the die...

 I thought about using vellum... but that wouldn't have the visual weight to anchor the bear... Then I found some flocked paper in my stash of random specialty papers.... It cut BEAUTIFULLY! It feels like VELVET. Seriously. It's amazing! Absolutely perfect for a Christmas card! 

I'm not sure the exact brand this flocked paper is (it's been in my stash for quite a while now...) but you can find flocked/velvet paper from various sources... Like this, or this..

I hope you have a wonderful card making day (or weekend!)


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

getting started on Christmas...

Hello my fabulous friends!

Today I have two quick Christmas cards to share that both use the same basic technique... they came together super quick since both started as coloring projects for the 30 day coloring challenge that just ended. 

Up first... bright and traditional

Paper: Georgia Pacific white yardstick; DCWV Holiday Glitzy Glitter
Stamps: Great Impressions Snow Friends
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Distress Salty Ocean; Copic B0000, B00, RV11, 0, W1, W3, W6, W7, W9, YR18, R24, R29, R89, YG05, G05, G19; Signo Uniball white
Other: Ranger Perfect Pearls, Eclipse Masking Paper

I stamped my image using Memento Tuxedo Black ink because I knew I wanted to use alcohol markers, and this ink is safe for that. I then stamped it again onto the masking paper. 

Masking Paper is new to me... but I found it PERFECT for this kind of masking! 

I cut out the mask, and placed it over my stamped card. I then used my ink blending tool and some Distress ink to quickly make a bright background. For a little extra snow in the sky, I mixed Perfect Pearls in with some water and splattered it around.

Rather than try to mask those little snowflakes, I went in with my Signo pen to add the white back in after the inking was done. 

When the background was done, I removed the mask (and stuck it in with the stamp set to reuse next time). I kept the coloring of the snowmen nice and simple with the Copic markers. (the snowmen are shaded with B0000 and B00... but you can't tell in the photo. I need to learn to be brave and add in darker contrast on white images... Oh well, I'll get there!)
 For a little more sparkle, I painted on a little more Perfect Pearls over the snow.

For the mat, I didn't have card stock in the gray that I wanted, so I colored the edges of some white card stock with a Copic marker. I love being able to customize things to make them match!

Next up, winter animals...

Paper: Georgia Pacific white card stock; DCWV Holiday Glitzy Glitter
Stamps: Adam Prescott Winter Woodland, Crafters Companion Winter Wishes
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black; Distress Seedless Preserves, Chipped Sapphire, Black Soot; Copic V06, W0, W1, W3, C2, C6,C7, C9, E00, G04,YG05, R46,R59, BG000, BG11, 0; Gelly Roll Clear Star
Other: Eclipse Masking paper

*NOTE:The sweet little critters on this card are from a stamp set that came free with a magazine I bought a year or two ago... I've tried to find it online, but I haven't found this set for sale anywhere. Sorry... I try to use current things, but sometimes  I just have to  use older things because I can't always afford to go out and buy all the newest stamps, and I firmly believe that older sets can still be loved and used even if they are no longer available on the market... Hopefully you can still find inspiration in this card... You could create a similar look with SO many other stamp sets that are currently available, or look through your own stash of old stamps... you might already have something similar! 

Again, I stamped my image on both my card stock, and the masking paper. I cut the mask out and covered the image. I also covered where I wanted my horizon line and below... this protects the portion of the card I want to remain white. (yes, that is a lesson I learned the hard way... OOPS!) 

I then did a blend of Distress ink, moving from my lightest (Seedless Preserves), to my darker (Chipped Sapphire), making sure to over lap the colors and let them blend. I added a little Black soot around the edges of the sky just to help keep the focus on the brighter center of the card.

I then removed the masks and did another simple Copic coloring. Nothing fancy or complicated... Just really simple coloring. 

To finish it off, I added stars in the sky, and lines in the snow with my Gelly Roll Clear star pen. 

You can see in this close up just how much sparkle this pen packs... It's AMAZING!!!

What is even more amazing is that I got this pen more than 10 years ago, haven't used it in forever (mostly because I kinda forgot about it...).  I was going through some things, and saw it in my pen cup and decided to give it a test to see if it still worked, or if I needed to throw it out. It works BEAUTIFULLY even after sitting all this time! I'm so impressed! In fact, I'm loving it so much that it now has a place with my white pen and my lining pens right next to my table for easy access!

Adding in the layer of ink in the background, really makes the white of the images POP. 
When you color white, you add color into your shadows, but it is really dependent on the things around it to make it read as white. 

So... Now I have a start on my Christmas cards for the year... Have you started yet???