Monday, October 8, 2018

The Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care

My girlfriend and I were crafting this weekend making some Christmas cards for a swap that we are having in December. What a great way to spend World Card Making Day, right?!?! Anyway, as I was rummaging through a box I keep new stuff in that I want to play with, I came across a die that she saw and she commented how cute it would be to make it and light it up with a tea light. The next day I started creating a card with this die and just knew I had to come up with a way to light one up for her Christmas card this year. I am so happy with the end result!
temp(16)The die I used for this project is called Fireplace w/ Accessories by Cottage Cutz. Like most die cuts I believe it is intended to cut out colored paper to paper piece the design together. But if you take a close look at this, this die has a multitude of itty bitty pieces. I cannot imagine how many times I would have had to run this die through my Big Shot to get all the pieces I would need to make this happen. So I came up with an alternative option. And what a time saver!!
I die cut this die out of white cardstock instead and used my Copic markers to color the pieces. Now this was still a bit time consuming because there were so many pieces, but in my opinion much, much quicker. And it saved a fair amount of paper waste too since I didn’t have to run it through multiple times with multiple colors. Once I had everything colored I used my Tombow Multipurpose Glue to adhere it all together using the packaging display as my guideline. It went together pretty easy.
This card is one of those fun folds that worked out perfect to display this fireplace. I really didn’t want to put it with a patterned paper because it is pretty busy all on it’s own.  I used a stitched scallop die from MFT (always my go to mat dies) to cut the white background for my fireplace. I adhered my fireplace flat to this with Tombow. This dies measures approximately 4” X 4” so the Cherry Cobbler mat is cut to 4 1/4” X 4 1/4”. I adhered my white scallop to this with foam tape so that it is popped with dimension. Then I cut a white piece of cardstock 4 1/2” X 4 1/2” that would adhere behind the red mat and the card face as well.
Now to create the card base with this fancy fold I took my Cherry Cobbler cardstock and cut a piece 4 3/4” wide and 9 1/2” long. I used my scoreboard and put the long edge to the top of my board and scored at 2 3/8” and again at 4 3/4”. The 4 3/4” score is to fold the card in half and the 2 3/8” score is half of the half to create the fun part. Both score marks will get a mountain fold.
temp(15)Here is another picture that I hopes helps demonstrate how this works. Next I adhered my fireplace stack onto the card face, but I only adhered it on the LOWER half of the card front. Below that score mark. And because this part will probably get handled a lot I used double sided sticky tape for that. Now when I open the card that extra mountain fold will allow me to prop it up as if it were on an easel.
To hold that easel position up I created the sentiment that is hidden on the inside of the card. So you will only see it when the card is in the open position. I adhered this down with foam tape also so that the dimension of it would act as a catch of sorts for the fireplace panel. And you don’t have to use a die cut sentiment. Any sentiment will work, just make certain you pop it up with dimension so that it catches the top to keep it standing up and open.
So that is basically the card. But unto the my tea light card…
temp(14)For this I simply changed up my assembly a bit. Instead of adhering my pieces down to the white scallop I adhered them only to each other, with no backing. Then I laid my assembled firepalce on my white scallop and traced the opening of the fireplace lightly with a pencil. I cut it out slightly larger than my outline with an exacto knife. Next I lined up my white scallop on the Cherry Cobbler mat and traced the opening onto that mat. I cut that one out as well. Then I lined up the Cherry Cobbler mat on the next white mat, traced the opening, and cut it out. And finally I lined them all up again on the front of the card face, traced that opening once again, and made my last cut. Now all my mats line up with the same opening and can be adhered together. I adhered my fireplace over that opening. This will allow your tea light to shine as if the fireplace is glowing with embers. And because this card can be opened and closed so easily, the tea light can be removed or replaced as needed. I love how it turned out. I think my girlfriend will too!
IMG-5692Here is one more picture of the tea light card taken after the sun was setting for the day and my house was getting a bit darker. You can really see the glow the tea light adds to the fire!
This card is definitely a little harder than others I have posted but don’t let it stop you from giving it a try. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. It is always my pleasure to help and inspire.
Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Crafting!
Shan

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Happy hump day my friends! Our week is on the downhill swoop, yay!
I have a quick post for you today. I have been playing with a new stamp set called Beautiful Blizzard from SU and it has a coordinating die plate as well. And when I say “playing”, that really means I haven’t stopped creating with this set for two days. I just love it. Now I know I would never want to live in the snowy conditions of the north again, but I sure do miss the snow from time to time. I miss the magic of it, you know what I mean? The softly falling flakes…snowmen…scraves and mittens…snowballs…hot cocoa to chase the chills away…such memories I have. Very nostalgic for me.  I think that is why I always throw some snowflake cards in the line up every year.
Without further ado, my snowflakes!
I warned you I went crazy, right?!
Blues, aquas, and silver for some classic looks. Lots of glitter and sparkle! And then some reds, greens, soft purples and pinks for a not so classic look for snowflakes.
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I don’t have time to give the product break down for all these cards right now, but I couldn’t wait to post these for you. I will spend the next couple of days posting the individual card details and things I may have figured out for your ease of reproduction. I also have a few close up pictures of these cards to show you so you don’t miss out on some creative choices I made that just don’t show up in my normal pictures. See you all back here soon!
Happy crafting!
Shan

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Classic Santa

Happy weekend friends! I’m starting this post with a little bit of information I’d like to share about a “tool” my husband helped me make. So my last post, and this one, is a colored card using my Polychromos pencils and a blending solution called Gamsol that I use with a blending tool called a “stump”. Once I had used my blending stumps on my first Santa I needed to clean them before starting my second card. Off to the internets and Youtube I went looking for directions on how to accomplish this. There are a couple of different ways to do it, but the method I decided on was sandpaper. I found a Gamsol kit, that included a cleaning tool, from Inky Antics that was getting good reviews so I took a closer look at that one. It included a handheld tool with sandpaper on it that allowed you to clean/sharpen your blending stumps that made them look like new.
Santa 5So, off to the garage I went with my husband and told him what I needed. (I am telling you, this man of mine has just about everything in his garage. He comes to my rescue all the time.) My supply list was a paint stir stick and sandpaper. Pretty easy list, eh? First he had me test out a few different grits of sandpaper to figure out which one would best with my stumps, then he had me cut the paint stick to a smaller, more manageable, handheld size. We decided the 220 grit sandpaper worked the best so he cut a piece of sandpaper to the size I would need to wrap it completely around the stir stick and then he sprayed the back of it with adhesive spray. I wrapped it around my stir stick, he drilled a hole through the handle for me so I could hang it easily for storage and it was done. I had a cleaning/sharpening tool for my blending stumps. It works like a charm!
Santa 4Now on to Santa number two! My first card with this stamp, Jolly Santa from Stampendous, had a bit of a vintage feel to it. My hope for this second card was a more classic feel. I think I nailed it.
This time I stamped Santa with my Espresso Truffle ink from Memento onto white cardstock. I used my Polychromos pencils to color him and my newly cleaned blending stumps and Gamsol to blend the coloring. I did it pretty much the same way I did my first card but because it is on white cardstock versus kraft colored stock the feel is completely different.
 SantaHere is a quick reminder of what the first vintage Santa looked like.
After I got him all colored I die cut my image with an oval using a die from Spellbinders. My oval is about 3.5 inches wide. Next I die cut a mat for my oval Santa out of Real Red cardstock from SU, using MFT’s stitched oval frames. This oval frame measures 4 inches wide.
To create my little foliage cluster I used dies from a couple of companies. The pine leaves, holly leaves and pinecones came from a Sizzix collection designed by Tim Holtz called Festive Greens and the branches with the berries came from a die set from CottageCutz called Holiday Greenery. The pine leaves are cut from Mossy Meadow and Old Olive. The holly leaves are cut from Granny Apple Green. And the pinecones are cut from Chocolate Chip. All these colors of cardstock are from SU. The berry branch was cut from white cardstock and I colored it with my Copic markers using R29 and E37. I just used my glue pen to layer and adhere these pieces together in a wonderful little grouping that is the perfect  holiday accent for any Christmas or winter card. Unfortunately, I don’t recall what company I purchased my die to cut the word Believe from, but I cut this word from Real Red cardstock as well.
The card base is cut from white cardstock, while I used a Real Red cardstock mat for the card face. On the mat I used white cardstock embossed with a Swiss Dot embossing folder and on the top of that I used a dotted, soft green patterned paper I had on hand from a company called 3 Bugs In A Rug. I love how using a dotted pattern paper on the top edge and a dotted embossing folder for the bottom made a quite cohesive front for my card. (In hindsight, I think a white embossed brick face instead of swiss dots might be kind of cool too!)
So we have covered all the major components for this card. I popped the dotted layer onto the red mat and used a thin piece of gold ribbon to set the two pieces apart from one another. I adhered the red, stitched, oval frame flat to the card face, but popped my Santa oval over that. I used a glue dot to adhere my foliage and my glue pen to adhere my Believe sentiment under Santa, with a red rhinestone to dot my letter i. I added three more rhinestones to my foliage for the holly berries and used a glossy accent medium to add a little shine and dimension to the branch berries and the berries on my stamped image.
I love how this card turned out. The same stamp, but a very different feel. Thank you for stopping in and checking out my card. I hope you enjoyed it. I’d love to hear any feedback you may have and as always, don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have.
Happy Crafting All!
Shan

Friday, September 28, 2018

First Christmas Card of the Year

Happy first week of fall ya’ll! I wish that meant cooler weather, leaves changing colors and sweaters, but alas, I live in central Florida and that just isn’t gonna happen. Florida is not exempt from the power of pumpkin spice however. Thank goodness for that!
I have my first Christmas card to share with you today and a new product to talk about that I used to make this card. It is called Gamsol. Have you heard of it? It is basically just an odor free mineral spirit from what I have come to understand and it is a wonderful blending agent for your colored pencils, whether they are wax, water or oil based. (On this particular card I used my Polychromos pencils, which are oil based.)
SantaWithout further ado…my Santa! I really tried to go for a classic, vintage feel. I stamped Santa, which is a Stampendous stamp called Jolly Santa, with Espresso Truffle Memento ink onto kraft cardstock. Then I colored him using my Polychromos pencils very lightly. I tend to adhere to the rule that less is better. I can always add more color if I didn’t put enough, but I cannot take it away once I put it down. But in this case I did not need to add more color. My light layer of pencil was plenty to get my desired vintage feel. The only place I added extra, after I blended my pencils with gamsol, was on Santa’s hat to add a darker shadow down by his snowball looking pompom. I used a nice pink for his cheeks and lips. Blue for ole’ Kris Kringle’s eyes. A couple of different greens for the holly leaves. The same red on his hat and on the berries. That left his fur, eye brows and beard. For these I first used my Unicorn white pigment ink from Memories and a sponge to dab down a layer of white all over. Then I went in with my Polychromos white pencil and hit the outline and stamped marks of his beard, colored in his brows and outlined the hat and pompom.
Once Santa was colored I got my blending stump and gamsol out. All I did was dip the tip of my blending stump in the gamsol, blot it off on a paper towel before touching it to my coloring and then just started blending my color using a circular motion with my stump. Really small, slow circles. It blended fabulously! I did not need to blend the white because I laid down that layer of white pigment ink to get the color. Here’s a little side note…the gamsol did look wet in a couple of areas where I got too heavy with it, but it did evaporate, and once it was dry I was totally happy with how Santa turned out. Once he was dry I cut him out.
For the card base I chose Very Vanilla from SU. Choosing the off white for the card kind of just let all the design elements fall into place for me.  Very Vanilla cardstock led me to choose the Very Vanilla ribbon with a gold accent, which is also from SU. (To me the gold says “vintage” more than silver does.) The gold on the ribbon made me choose gold embossing powder for the sentiment. I used Zing gold embossing powder from Ranger. I added a little gold thread and a few gold sequins and to bling it all together. The red cardstock is Cherry Cobbler and the pattern paper is Festive Farmhouse, both from SU.
Santa 2Santa 3To finish it off I popped Santa on the card face, added some glossy accent liquid on the berries and I outlined the fur on his hat and his pompom with Diamond Stickles. (This definitely separated the hat from the beard since they are both white.) 
I can’t begin to tell you how excited I get once I start making Christmas cards. It is such a joy for me. Well, I hope you enjoyed my post. Thank you for stopping by. Have a fabulous weekend and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me.
Happy Crafting!
Shan

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

You Make Me Smile

Howdy all! Today’s creative efforts turned out so sweet and simple. I couldn’t wait to share it with you. I used an old stamp set I had which always makes me smile, as well as a new to me set. I believe today’s card uses product from three different companies.

I love shaker cards. I just love them. Clearly I love them as much as I love all things that glitter and sparkle, cause I’ve been making quite a few of them lately. And where there’s a shaker, there’s sparkle! It’s just such an easy way to add an element of interactive fun to any card.

all about youI chose some beautiful island blues today for this card. But it could just as easily be any color collection you’re attracted to. I started by using my MFT Scalloped Stitched Rectangle die, the largest one in the set, and centered my word die YOU in the center of the window. This YOU die is from MFT also, called Die-Namics YOU Trio. By centering the word in the scalloped window I could cut both at once, time saver! Then I stamped my roses and leaves on the card while I could have it flat in front of me. I played with several different color combinations before I made my final choice for the card. This flower set is a 3-step stamp set from PTI called The Sweet Life. Although it is a 3-step stamp to complete the stamped image as intended by PTI, I chose to only use two layers to create my flowers. I omitted the background stamp that lays down the most color. I only used the two stamps that are used to add the rose image and its shading. So my rose is stamped using Baja Breeze and the shadows, or highlights, are stamped using Island Indigo. Both of these inks are retired inks from SU. I added a few leaves next using Old Olive for the body of the leaf and Mossy Meadow for the highlights that are the veins of the leaves. Both of the green inks are current SU colors.  I stamped the sentiment from the coordinating stamp set that goes with the YOU die from MFT called All About You in Tuxedo Black Memento ink. The white cardstock I stamped it on was 2.5 inches long and I just centered the stamp on it, then trimmed it to be the size I needed when the card was done. I backed the white with some retired Lost Lagoon cardstock from SU I had that worked well with my ink choices. The card base is the same color.

After all my stamping was done I built the well for all my bling and sequins. Since YOU was already cut out of my card face the first thing I did was adhere a piece of clear, rectangular acetate to the back of YOU to become my window. Then I built a rectangular well around the word YOU with my double sided foam tape. I built it up two layers deep. You get a lot more shake out of your bling if you do this. It can be a bit tedious to do two layers of the foam tape, but the effect is well worth it. So once the well was windowed and built I added my bits and pieces of sparkle. I have a ton of different colored sequins and shaker bits. I just found some that I thought work coordinate well and added a large pinch of each. I used a blue/green sequins as well as white and silver, and some little silver seed beads too. Once my bits were in the well I cut a piece of my Lost Lagoon cardstock and adhered it over the back of my well to trap everything in. And this way, when you turn it back around the matching cardstock peeks out from the YOU and it ties it all together.

Before adhering everything down I cut a piece of white cardstock 4 X 5 1/4 and used my Tufted embossing folder from SU on it. This piece got adhered to the front of the card first, then I adhered down my shaker art centered on the card face, and finally I added the sentiment. Done! I think it turned out smashing!

Let me know if you have any questions. It is always my pleasure to help and encourage you to be creative.

Happy Crafting!

Shan

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A Fairy Tale Birthday

My youngest is celebrating her 22nd birthday this month, in addition to graduating from college just a few days ago. A big, huge, month for her. Any of you who know me personally know that my daughter has undergone so much change in the last year and a half. And if I have learned anything about her I have learned that she is brave…braver than most anyone I know. So I wanted to make a card for her birthday that reminded her how brave she is and that nothing can stop her from writing her very own happy ending.

unicornsThe stamp and die set I used for this card is from MFT and it is called Magical Unicorns. The sentiment, Write Your Own Fairy Tale, made this the perfect choice for me. I stamped the images on white card stock with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and then colored them in with my Copic markers. I used B01,YG03, V25, Y35, and R22 for the colors of the mane, horn, tail and hooves. I shaded my unicorns ever so slightly with C00 but I don’t think it shows up extremely well in the photo. The coordinating die set made cutting out my unicorns and rainbow a breeze.

The background was made using dies from MFT also. The scalloped stitched ovals and the pierced ovals. To create the upper cloud section I used a cloud border die to make a mask/template. I laid the template on my oval and used a sponge to swirl on a bit of color. I used a retired color from SU, Bashful Blue. Once I could see a bit of blue cloud form I just lifted my template to a new section and sponged again. I just kept doing this until I had my desired cloud cover. I left the bottom white and once the clouds were done I got a new sponge and my Granny Apple Green SU ink and softly swirled on the green ink for my grass. My sentiment is of course stamped in Tuxedo Black Memento ink.

My cloud shaker is also a MFT die. I used a bunch of different bits and baubles I had to fill it. Clear rhinestones, light blue sequins, silver seed beads, silver stars, and white opaque sequins. Such a soft, lovely blue cloud to match my gentle blue sky!

I used a bunch of foam tape to pop everything at different heights on the card front. I created the card front using a piece of white cardstock and my SU embossing folder, Tufted, to give it a bit of interest and then mounted it all to a card made from Highland Heather card stock from SU. To finish it all off I added a bit of Diamond Stickles to the bellies of the stamped clouds and a bit of Yellow Stickles to the unicorn’s horns. The Stickles doesn’t show up very well in the photo, but it adds just the right amount of sparkle. (We all know how I feel about sparkles!)

That was today’s creative fun. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for popping by to read all about it.

Happy Crafting!

Shan

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Gamer Card

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Today was all about creating a couple of birthday cards for a set of twins turnng 14 years old. Feminine cards are quite a bit easier for me than masculine cards. This particular 14 year old young man loves gaming and I had a set from Papertrey Ink called Boy Basics: Game On. Seemed like a no brainer to me. I went to the PTI website to look for inspiration and in the gallery for this stamp set I found a gift bag/ game cover that I basically CASEd and turned it into a card. I didn’t have all PTI product but I improvised and came up with a design that worked. I think the birthday boy will like it!

xboxOther than the stamp set from PTI, I used some Spellbinder pinked circle dies, my MFT pierced circle dies and the little square stamped image I just cut by hand. I popped every circle big and small and then added the rhinestones at the sentiment.

The cardstocks are Basic Black and Real Red, both from SU. I used a silver glitter cardstock scrap I had on hand from a previous project, but I don’t recall where I got it from. Any old silver glitter stock would work here. The inks are Smoky Slate and Real Red, also from SU.

The twins birthday cards are done, yay! (You can see the Pooh Bear card I made for the other twin on my previous post.) I feel accomplished today.

Now it’s time for me to think about my daughter’s graduation card. How did I get old enough to have a my baby graduating college???

Have a fabulous week. I hope you find time to be creative.

Happy Crafting my friends!

Shan