Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Parchment Paper Technique

I have been getting a lot of inspiration from Beate's tutorials over at Split Coast Stampers lately, specifically the acetate & tissue paper technique. Today I was looking for a bit of that feel only more crackled and translucent. So I went rummaging through the kitchen and grabbed some parchment paper.

To start, wad it up in a ball and then spread it back out. Wadding it up loosely will create larger crackles and making a tighter ball will make smaller, more numerous crackles.

Then take your ink pad and smear ink all over. You can use several colors, but start with lightest first. It helps to use a heat tool to set the ink. The parchment resists taking color and you can lift color back off, before it is dry, to varying degrees by using a paper towel or baby wipe.

This is after I used So Saffron, More Mustard and Chocolate Chip (Stampin' Up colors). I heat set after So Saffron and More Mustard. Then I wiped off after Chocolate Chip to create some highlights.

After the Chocolate Chip was dry, I used a stamp from Lovely As a Tree and inked first with VersaMark, then black ink. Next I embossed with clear embossing powder. The sentiment is from Wonderful Favorites and was embossed the same way.

To assemble the card, I cut ovals from brown and black card stock and placed the parchment behind them. Then I backed it all with Very Vanilla card stock.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Outside of the Box Challenge And Lucky Me

I really had fun with this challenge. Sharon's challenge on No Time to Stamp was Thinking Outside of the Box. In other words, use a stamp in a way it was not intended.

This was really hard at first, but then I started looking at my stamps and trying to see the potential in them. When I pulled out All Natural, the pear was upside down, and I immediately saw an alien face in it.

I inked the pear stamp with VersaMark, then black ink and stamped it on pale green card stock. Then I embossed that with clear embossing powder.

Next I took a the leaf stamp from Basket of Blossoms and stamped it the same way for the eyes, then followed with clear embossing powder again. I used a black craft marker to fill in the eyes, leaving just a sliver unmarked, and drew in the nose and mouth. I let that dry then went over the areas I had just colored in with VersaMark and embossed those as well.

Lastly, I used water color pencils to give him a bit of shading around the edges. The shading doesn't show up well in the photo, but it adds a lot in person. The greeting I just printed out on orange card stock from my computer, because I didn't have anything that seemed appropriate.

This is the pear, stamp and colored the way you might expect it to be.

Blog Candy!
Remember Allison's big celebration at Stampin With Allison? Well, guess who won last week? That's right, yours truly. I am so thrilled. I won So Many Scallops which is a set I have been wanting to get for my mom. Yay! She'll be thrilled.

If you didn't win yet, don't despair, today she is having another Blog Candy offer and this one is the grand finale and she is giving away a stamp set and a bunch of goodies, so get over there and get entered asap.

Beate's Weekend Sketch - WSC45

I made this card for Beate's weekend sketch. I decided to make mine square (5-1/4 X 5 - 1/4 inches). My Stampin' Up order got here a few days ago and I have been itching to use my new stamps. Baroque Motifs and Wonderful Favorites are the ones I used for this card. I also got True Friend and Spring Solitude, so you will likely be seeing me use those soon.

To make the background for this section, I smeared some black ink (very little), and some Tim Holtz alcohol inks on Plexiglas and spritzed them with water. Then I let them run together and put some tissue paper over it to pick up the color.

I let that dry and then adhered it to a piece of tan card stock with clear acrylic medium (similar to Modge Podge). I put more acrylic medium over the top of the tissue after it was dry. I let that dry and then stamped the Baroque Motif by first inking with Versa Mark and then black ink. Then I embossed the whole thing. The embossing powder sticks to the acrylic medium.

The papers used are black, Blue Bayou, More Mustard, dark brown and Le Jardin designer paper. There are also three blue dew drops which for some reason are looking green in the photo.

Check out this blog candy I won from Pam at Paper Askew Studio. It is a set of Studio G stamps, some punch flowers and a truly awesome bunny stamp from Yvonne Albritton Designs. This stamp is unmounted which is cool, because I have been wanting to see what it is like to use unmounted stamps. Now I just need to spend a little time on SCS to figure out what I need to do to use it.

Thanks Pam for the candy. I can't wait to use it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I've Been Tagged (and it didn't hurt a bit)

This card is for two challenges over at Split Coast Stampers, they sketch challenge and the color challenge. The color challenge calls for Chocolate Chip, Certainly Celery and Pretty in Pink.

I didn't have Pretty in Pink or Certainly Celery papers, so I had to improvise. I sponged Certainly Celery ink on white card stock and chose pink card stock that was close in color to Pretty in Pink.

The stamp I used is from Merci. I inked it with Versa Mark, then black ink and then embossed it with clear embossing powder. I colored it in with markers then used a Versa Mark pen to cover the colored sections and embossed again with clear embossing powder.

I have been tagged by Monica. Monica is a fellow crafting gal and contributor to Stamping Links to Love. She has a terrific blog where she shares her cards and scrap booking layouts.

7 Things Game

The Rules for 7 Things:

1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, 7 things about myself. Okay, here goes, but remember you asked for it. (okay, so it was Monica who asked for it, just don't blame me).

1. I like snorkeling.
2. I am seriously addicted to coke (the soft drink). Ha! I know what you were thinking.
3. My hands and feet are almost always cold (even in the middle of summer and it gets freakishly hot here).
4. I get a sick kind of pleasure from putting my cold hands and feet on my husband and listening to him squeal.
5. I have never caused a traffic accident, but I have been the recipient of several. (picture me rolling my eyes here).
6. Sometimes I laugh really loud and then look around to see if anyone noticed.
7. I have a husband, teenage daughter, two dogs and a cat.
8. I don't like to follow rules (hence, there are 8 facts rather than seven).

Now for my victims...





Once again I have broken the rules and only tagged four people instead of seven. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another Inspiration Challenge Card - BIC10

Stampin' Up Card using From the Garden
Beate had another great inspiration item for her challenge this week and I got right to work on it. I am having such a good time with embossing, I decided to do it again on this card.

For this card I used a stamp called From the Garden. First I inked it with Versa Mark and then with Chocolate Chip ink and stamped the image on Whisper White card stock.

Next I applied clear embossing powder and heat embossed the image.

After that I used water color pencils to color the image. I kept the colors pretty light, but they are actually more intense than the photos. I only colored the flower itself and left the surrounding foliage blank since I didn't plan to use that part.

After cutting out the flower I made a background paper by sponging blue and yellow on Very Vanilla card stock. I backed that with dark brown. I didn't have any large dark brown brads, so I used brown ink and embossing powder on copper colored brads.

I want to give a shout out to a couple of new bloggers. Joanne has a new blog called Mainly Flowers. She has only been blogging a few weeks, but already has a few awesome tutorials. Sharon has only been blogging since February. Her site is called Stampin' and Scrappin.' Scroll down on her blog to see some fantastic cards using Lovely as a Tree.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Gift Card Holder - TLC165

The new technique challenge on Split Coast Stampers this week is to make a gift card holder like this one. I thought this was a clever idea and decided to give it a go. I made my with Father's Day in mind. I haven't stamped a sentiment yet, because I just ordered a new stamp set from Stampin' Up called Wonderful Favorites. I plan to use that set for the sentiment.

Here is the inside. The gift card holder portion swings back and forth, so you have a lot of area to add stamping or designer papers. I used Lovely As A Tree for the front image and Seeing Spots for the inside. I also added Le Jardin designer paper.

For the tree, I inked my stamp with Versa Mark and then Chocolate Chip ink and stamped the image on Very Vanilla card stock. Then I heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. I brayered Not Quite Navy ink over the image and then went back in and blotted bleach over the image. Then I did a little sponging around the edges with Chocolate Chip ink and black ink.

To make it I started with a sheet of card stock 4 1/2 by 11 inches and scored at 3, 5 1/2 and 8 1/2 inches. The site I linked to above called for a 4 1/4 by 11 inch sheet of card stock, but I wanted mine a bit taller to accommodate the tree stamp.

Next I folded the card stock to form "W" and then used the word window punch and circle punch to make an opening for the gift card. I used Terrifically Tacky tape around the edges on the inside of the "W." To add the designer paper, I cut it down slightly and then used the word window punch and a slightly larger circle punch.

Blog Candy Alert - Allison is having another give away. This week she is offering a stamp set. Check it out. She also has another new tutorial for using Pastels.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Is It Too Soon For Christams Cards?

I made this card for a sketch challenge at Artfully Ila. I was just in the mood to use my Holiday Tag Team santa. He is just so cute and whimsical.

The two designer papers are from Flair Designs and Crate Paper and were purchased at my local scrap booking store. The rest of the papers were just random scraps I had. The santa is from Holiday Tag Team by Stampin' Up and the sentiment is from Frosty by Stampin' Up.

Remember the mama Kildeer bird that was sitting on eggs that I mentioned the other day? Sad news for her. The eggs were scavenged. We must have come across it just after it happened. When we got there, mama bird was trying to lure us away from the vicinity by pretending to have a broken wing.

It is strange, because she never once did that when the eggs were still there and we walked by daily. The next day there was no sign of her. Hopefully she still has time to set up a new nest and try again this year.

On a more positive note, when we got to the lake, there was a newly hatched batch of ducklings following their mum about. They are sooo cute when they are little. At least some eggs in the neighborhood survived.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Scrappy Card

My card for Allison's Scrappy ChallengeAllison's challenge this week was to make a card using scraps. I have so many scraps and this was a good challenge to encourage me to go through them and start putting them to use.

I put this together using some assorted pattern scraps, plus a few pieces of Groovy Guava. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up's Lots of Thoughts set. I also added plastic "dew drops" and ribbon.

Now I just need to make about 100 more like this and I might start making a dent in my scraps. I've only been making cards for about 5 months. How did I get so many scraps?

An Inspiration Card

This card pulled double duty. I needed to send a "thank you" to my sister for giving me that stamp set last week and I also wanted to give Beate's Be Inspired Challenge a try. I also took inspiration from the card she made. I loved the colors she used.

To get this effect, I sponged ink onto Plexiglas and then used a black marker to make some squiggly lines. Then I spritzed the plexi with water and laid the paper on top. I rubbed all around on the paper, then lifted it up. It took about three attemps before I came up with one I liked.

Then I trimmed the paper (after letting it dry) and backed it with black and more mustard, before mounting it on a very vanilla card base, which I sponged around the edges with more mustard ink.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An Exciting New Blog and I'm a Stamping Gal

Unfroggetable card, using Stampin Up
If you have ever visited Stampin' When I Can, you know that Allison is an amazing blogger and has provided terrific links lists featuring Tutorial, Blog Candy, Sketch, Challenge and Favorite posts that she comes across.

Recently Allison posted a request for help in updating all her link lists. Somehow she had been doing this single handedly, and she has over 1000 blogs in her reader. Several bloggers, including myself, volunteered to help.

She has created a new blog, Stamping Links to Love, and moved her link lists there. Allison has given us volunteers a name. We are known as the Stamping Gals and it is our job to help her go through all her posts and update the link lists when we come across something noteworthy.

If you want a quick and easy place to find great blog posts about stamping, scrapping and paper crafts, be sure to come by Stamping Links to Love.

Since the new site is just a series of feeds, subscribing the blog itself will not work. Instead you need to subscribe to the individual feeds.

Linked Tutorials of Note:http://www.google.com/reader/shared/user/05831553170943881175/label/Linked%20Tutorials%20of%20Note

Sketch Designs:http://www.google.com/reader/shared/user/05831553170943881175/label/Sketch%20Designs

Blog Challenges:http://www.google.com/reader/shared/user/05831553170943881175/label/Blog%20Challenges



You can subscribe by copying and adding them directly or follow the links and click on the subscribe button.

I made this card for the Color Inspiration Challenge at Paper Askew Studio. They have a great inspiration piece to work from and this was a fun card to put together.

I used a variety of papers that are all non Stampin' Up, so I won't list them. The stamp sets are Unfrogettable and Itty Bitty Backgrounds, both from Stampin' Up. I made use of the word window punch, 1/2 and 1/4 inch circle punches, a well as an eyelet and organdy ribbon. I colored the mushroom with water color pencils and added googlie eyes to the frog.

Check out these sites for a chance at blog candy...

Li'l Buck's Creations

Whoopsie Daisy!

Stampin' Up With Allison - Month long giveaways.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Fun Project and I Got Free Stamps

My sister, Brenda, came up with this fun idea for making a holder for those little purse size tissue packs. She wrote a tutorial on her blog, so if you want to try it, you can go there for a template and instructions.

I made one change from hers. She used Velcro to hold the flap down, but I cut a slot in the bottom of the box and made a smaller flap, which tucks into the box.

I thought this was a really good idea and it is super easy to make. She suggested on her blog that they would be nice to give with a matching get well card.

For mine, I used More Mustard paper and ink, Chocolate Chip paper and ink, Close to Cocoa and Soft Sky papers, glitter, a brad and pop dots. The stamp sets I used were Sincere Salutations and MY FREE SET, One of a Kind.

How did I get so lucky to get a free set, you ask? Well, my sister ordered this set and the boho punch. As many of you may know, the punch is supposed to coordinate with one of the stamps in One of a Kind. Stampin' Up was having a problem with a batch of their stamps, which weren't lining up properly and my sister happened to get one of those sets.

So SU sent her replacement rubber so she could unmount the defective stamp and replace it with a new one. Well, much to our surprise, they sent the whole set, minus the wood blocks and case. I am the lucky stamper that called first dibs on the old one. Sorry, Mom.

Now I have her defective stamp, plus the extras that they sent and all I had to do was make some blocks for them to go on, which I did. I don't mind having the defective stamp. It works great and I never wanted the boho punch, anyway.

It was kind of a pain to cut the blocks and router the grooves and they didn't come out perfect, but good enough to be serviceable. Am I a lucky stamper or what?

Just a reminder - Allison is on her second week of blog candy. Head on over to her blog to enter to win a set of handmade cards for this weeks prize.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Weekend Sketch Card

Here is the card I made for Beate's weekend sketch. I got to do something new this time. The sketch is of a square card and I have never done a square card before. I made the base 5-1/2 by 5-1/2 so I could use a standard 8-1/2 by 11 sheet of card stock.

In my ongoing effort to justify purchasing my new Cuttlebug, I used the D'vine Swirls embossing folder on the Close to Cocoa background. I wanted to try something new, so after I embossed it, I ran it over my Chocolate Chip ink pad to highlight the raised areas. I like the effect, but it came out a bit sloppy.

The other papers I used in this card are Purely Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla and Close to Cocoa designer paper. I used Purely Pomegranate ink for the sentiment and Chocolate Chip sponge on the Very Vanilla. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up's Sincere Salutations.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring is in the air

Stampin Up card using Seeing Spots and Sincere Salutations

It took me two days to complete this card. I kept going back to it over and over again, trying to make it work. I was doing the color challenge from Kwernerdesignblog. I have noticed that the longer it takes for me to do a card, the less I like it.

The ones that come together easily seem to be my best ones. But when it takes as long as this one did, I never seem to be happy with the results.

I am still having fun with my new Cuttlebug. I used one of the Decorative Squares folders for this card. The square was too small or the scallop to fit so I improvised and embossed one side at time, sort of piecing it together.

The stamps sets I used for this card are Seeing Spots and Sincere Salutations from Stampin' Up. Paper colors are chocolate chip, old olive, close to cocoa, very vanilla (all from SU), and teal (CM). I embellished it with glitter, brads, and old olive grosgrain ribbon

Kildeer photo
On our walk the other night, Mike spotted this bird on the side of the road. We were surprised to see she was on a nest with three eggs. The bird is a Killdeer and apparently it is quite common for them to build nests right along the roadside.

The nest is, just off the road, in an empty lot near our house. Mike mocked me for bringing my camera the next day, so I could take the photo above. But then, the day after that, he wanted to know why I wasn't bringing my camera. He is now insisting we take it every day so that we don't miss when the babies hatch.
Kildeer eggs

This would be the photo he took. Aren't those little eggs cute? Gotta love spring.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Gettin' Buggy With It

I got a new toy today. I have been wanting a Cuttlebug for some time now. I get so jealous seeing all the awesome projects using them and when Michaels put them on sale 50% off this week, I decided it was time.

I got two sets of mini embossing folders and one large. I would have gotten more, but the selection at Michaels was not too good. I am so excited to finally have a Cuttlebug and I have already put it to use on this card.

I used one of the folders from Fancy Corners and tried the inked folder technique. I did this by inking the negative (flat) side of the folder with Certainly Celery and carefully placed the Very Vanilla paper in before running throught the Cuttlebug. If you try this, be sure to keep the paper from sliding within the folder or you will smudge your paper.

I used dye based ink. I am not sure how well pigment ink would clean up. I really like how it turned out. I hope to get more folders and use this technique more.

For the rest of the card, I used a Very Vanilla card base, Wild Wasabi sponged with Chocolate Chip ink and dark brown satin ribbon. The embossed image is backed with Chocolate Chip paper, then Very Vanilla, then Black. I stamped the top of the card base with the small swirl stamp from Priceless and the sentiment is from Sincere Salutations. Both were stamped with Chocolate Chip ink.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Note Card Box Tutorial

I made this note card box and three inch note cards, using the Pun Fun stamp set, while I was visiting my sister over Easter and thought I would share with you how to make it.
Start with 6 1/2 by 10 inch sheet of Groovy Guava card stock. If you want to stamp the background now is the best time to do it. I used my sister's wheel. Sorry, I am not sure what it is called, but I am pretty sure it is retired.

If you do use a wheel, it is easier to go at a diagonal rather than straight up and down or across. Some of the swirl stamps like in Priceless or Friendship Blooms would make good back grounds for this step, if you don't have a wheel.

Now make score lines on the narrow side at 1/2, 1-1/2, 5 and 6 inches. Then on the wider side I scored at 2-1/4, 3-1/4, 6-3/4 and 7-3/4.

Next trim away the corners as shown and make the cut line to form the tabs. Then round the corners as shown. This is pretty hard to see in the smaller picture, so again, you may want to click on it for a larger version.

Now round the corners as indicated in the sketch.
Next, go ahead and make the folds on the score lines. Fold the tabs up and the sides in. Then fold the bottom up and make sure everything lines up as it should.

Make note of how high the bottom section comes up. You need to add very strong tape or glue to the sides, but don't let it extend up higher that the bottom section comes.

Go ahead and add the adhesive and assemble the box. You can add whatever you want to the top flap to decorate.
I layered a large square scallop in Chocolate Chip, then a 1 7/8 inch square with rounded corners, then a Purely Pomegranate scallop circle and finally a 1 1/2 inch circle stamped with a greeting from Lots of Thoughts.

To hold the flap down, I used a small square of Velcro. The Velcro was a bit strong, so I trimmed the fuzzy side and that made it open easier. Another option would be to use small magnets.

For the three inch cards inside, I used each of the stamps from Pun Fun, stamped on a 2 inch piece of Whisper White card stock.
I had to use a stamp positioner to get them lined up right, but I am sure some of you talented folks out there could do it by eyeing it.

The 2 inch stamped paper was then placed on a square scallop punched out using the large square scallop punch by Marvy (about 2-1/4 inches), and that was layered on top of another colored piece of card stock, cut 2-3/4 inches square.

I stamped the sentiments on the inside of the cards.

The box can hold 8 note cards with envelopes pretty easily and could probably handle up to 10 if you don't make cards with too many layers.

I liked Pun Fun for this project because it has 8 stamps in a variety of occasions. Another stamp set that would be great for this project is Greetings Galore.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Great Blog Candy Giveaway!

Hey, I just wanted to let you know that Allison is have a month long celebration on her blog for reaching 10,000 hits. This post has all the deets.

Allison is a Stampin' Up demonstrator and has a ton of good ideas. Be sure to check out her tutorials. She has some nice ones. I used her File Folder tutorial to make the card above.

Card recipe:
Stamps - Priceless, Warm Words and Seeing Spots all SU
Ink - Groovy Guava and Chocolate Chip
Paper - Chocolate Chip, Groovy Guava, Very Vanilla and Designer Paper from Michaels.
Accessories - Groovy Guava ribbon, brad, scallop punch.

Also, I don't have the punch tab from Stampin' Up, but I do have the word window punch and a corner rounder so I made one with those. I posted a video tutorial on that if you want to try it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A card, a laugh and a bright flash of light...

If you noticed a bright light in the sky earlier today, say around 10am Pacific Time, don't be alarmed. It was just me emerging from my house, wearing shorts for the first time this season. Yikes, it wasn't a pretty site. My poor neighbors. I hope they were wearing sunglasses.

I got the giggles after reading this post on Gabby's blog. Too funny, but what can I say? I am easily amused.

So I finally broke out my hostess stamp, From the Garden. Wow, I love this stamp. It is so detailed. It was hard to choose this one over the other sets that had multiple stamps in the set, but I am sure glad I did. Here is the recipe...

Stamps - From the Garden, Sincere Salutations, Friendship Blooms
Paper - Soft Sky, Blue Bayou, Whisper White, Dk Blue (Creative Memories), and Real Red ( ok, so I don't actually have Real Red, but that is the color I wanted).
Ink - Basic Black, Not Quite Navy
Accessories - Black Gingham ribbon, 3/16 hole punch, water color pencils.

I used my water color pencils to color in the flower after stamping it on whisper white cs. I stamped the Soft Sky with the swirl stamp from Friendship Blooms using Not Quite Navy stamped off twice. Then I glued the flower to the Soft Sky and cropped them.

For the ribbon, I punch a 3/16 hole on either side of the sentiment and made a tiny slit in the fold of the card at the same height. Then I threaded the ribbon through in and out and did a double knot.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Try Out Some New Blogger Features

Blogger in draft is a site Google uses to try out new features. It is very cool to see the new stuff that will be coming and if you want you can try them out on your site, too.

Just log into Google and then follow the link above and it should take you to your "draft" dashboard. From there go to Add and Arrange Page Elements. You'll see that instead of using the term "page elements" they are called "gadgets" in draft.

If you click on "Add a Gadget" a new window will pop up and you will get to see the new features available. If you decide to go ahead and save, just be aware that this is in beta still and could be buggy.

The really cool thing is in draft it is much easier to add a variety of different Google Gadgets. You don't have to copy the code and paste it in a HTML element. Instead, just use the search feature in the new window to find the one you want and click add.

I know a lot of people like to have a calender or jukebox and this will make it so easy to do so. If you enter "craft tip" in the gadget search box and scroll down you will see the "Craft Tip of the Day" gadget that I made.

The card above is pulling double duty for two challenges, Allison's Suggestive Sunday Challenge and Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge. I used SU's Lots of Thoughts and Priceless stamp sets, Groovy Guava, Very Vanilla and Purely Pomegranate papers and Purely Pomegranate ink. I also used Purely Pom ribbon and designer paper from Paper Pizzaz.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

You could be making money from your craft blog

I thought I would stay with an adsense theme this week. Do you have adsense on your craft site? Should you? Well that probably depends on your traffic.

So how is your traffic? On a webmaster forum I visit regularly a person posted that he gets over 800 hits a day and doesn't have any advertising on his site. Everyone jumped all over his case to get ads up asap.

A general rule of thumb is if you get 100 or more unique visitors per day, you could be making money from your site.

Adsense from Google is a great way to get started. It is very easy to set up and you don't have to choose what ads will show. Google places ads that are relevant to the topic of your site. If you have a Blogger blog, it is super easy to start. There is a page element specifically for Adsense and you can even color coordinate with your blog's template.

Take the time to read the Adsense terms of service and program policy. Also be sure to read up on ad placement to get the most from them.

The card above was made using Pun Fun and Big Bold Birthday stamp sets from Stampin' Up. I used Groovy Guava, Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla papers, black ink and water color crayons to color the Pun Fun animals.