Friday, August 31, 2012

Playing with ink

I'm having a tough time making Christmas cards.  That was always a joint effort with my late husband.  It's so hard to make them alone.  However, they have to be made early for Operation Write Home.  They need to be mailed overseas and then our heroes write personal messages and mail them back to family and friends.

This embossing folder by SU/Sizzix has always reminded me of poinsettias, so I stamped a poinsettia for the image.  This Posh Impressions stamp is very solid rubber, so I coated it with red ink.  After it was stamped and cut out with a Nestie, I used a gold pen to put dots in the center.

I also patted Rocket Red Brilliance ink onto the embossed flowers.  The sentiment ribbon is very narrow, so I put a gold transparent ribbon under it for width.  I decided to use red layers under everything.  I punched the edges of the layer under the ribbon with an EK Success edger punch.

This card is very similar, but I stamped the poinsettia with Versamark ink and added gold embossing powder.   I used Gold Brilliance ink to pat onto the embossed flowers.  I'll have to work on this idea and perhaps try more variations.

My heart just isn't ready for Christmas this year.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Embossed Holly

Recently, I ordered an embossing folder by Sizzix.  Strangely, this is from a set called Powdered Sugar and Snowglobe.  It appears to be on clearance at Sizzix.  I really like this holly, but I think other companies sell holly embossing folders.

Here are the first 2 cards I made.  I tried adding green ink to see how it works.  I decided against adding red berries all over the surface.
The center stamp is by Northwoods.  I used Nestibilities to cut the circles and Crystal Lacquer to color the center holly.  The border punch is by EK Success.
On these cards, I did not ink the embossing.  I used an old Sizzlets die to cut the center holly.  On the left card, I used a Pearl Pen to create the holly berries.  It was very hard to get even sizes.  On the card on the right, I used Crystal Lacquer for the berries.  It was much easier to control, but is quite translucent.  I used a second layer to make the color better.  The ribbon is a very old Christmas ribbon and is red, green and gold.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

OWH Pizazz Blog Skip

Welcome to the Operation Write Home Blog Skip.  If you arrived here from Sheila's blog, you are in the right place.  If not, you'll want to start at the beginning of this 'little blog hop'.  Please skip back to the Stars & Stamps blog.

Our challenge was to create cards with pizazz.  When I want to add pizazz to a card, I think about adding texture.  On this first attempt, I added some texture with a Cuttlebug embossing folder and a Spellbinders butterfly die.

This card has a bit of texture with the embossing on the background and the butterfly, but there isn't much contrast.  It really lacks pizazz. 

front and back of embossed cardstock
I decided to dress it up a bit.  The cardstock I used for the embossing is made by Core'dinations and has an orange core, so I used sand paper and removed the top layer to show the core.

I also added some green velvet ribbon for a bit more texture.  The gold bling on butterfly body and the gold vinyl outline stickers added a bit more pizazz.  Can you see the difference?

I popped the butterfly wings with dimensional foam tape, but glued the body directly to card.  I learned to use these nice sentiment stickers from this video & this video.
This was pretty good, but I wanted the orange pumpkins to show up a bit more.  I decided to make another card and add some ink to the embossed areas of both pumpkins and butterfly.  I like a firm, not too wet ink pad for this that dries well.  I used Brilliance Pearlescent Orange.
I think the ink adds a bit more pizazz to the embossing.
You may prefer to stop with the sanded card.  It's difficult to capture all the changes with a camera.  Since I used a dark cardstock for the base card, this card needed to be lined with a lighter color so it is easier to write a message inside the card.  I cut the lining slightly smaller than the base card, then ran it through the Xyron to add adhesive.  I burnished (rubbed firmly) over adhered layers to make the adhesive more secure.  I scored the center of card base after lining it with my Scor-It board, then folded the card.
Lining card
Scoring lined card
Now, you can press on to see what Shannon has to show you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Desert Rain

I live in a desert and love the hot, dry weather.  However, we do get monsoons twice a year.  July and August are our summer monsoon season.  This creates flash floods.  We've had a lot of rain this week, mostly during the night.  This is what greeted me this morning.
My poor little short legged dog stared at the water, wondering how to get to grass to do his business.
It has stopped raining and the water level is going down.  He finally got brave and waded through the water.  He discovered that he wouldn't melt.

Friday, August 17, 2012

OWH Midweek Throwdown

This week's Midweek Throwdown is to make cards using Kraft paper, plus 1 or 2 other colors.  I also got a challenge from a friend to make cards with this moose.  She sent me 2 moose made from kraft corrugated cardboard.

I hand cut the mountains from designer paper and adhered them to cloud paper and then onto kraft cardbase.  The trees were die cut from textured paper with a Sizzix die.  I added the moose in front of the trees.  These cards were lined with tan cardstock to make them sturdier and easier to write a message inside.  I didn't use a sentiment.  That makes them more versatile.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More tea staining

I have been playing with staining watercolor paper with wet tea bags.  I tried different kinds of tea and got surprising results.  When the tea looked reddish colored, my paper came out green when dry.  The paper is an off white.  This card was made with Sweet Dreams tea.
The background really does have a green tint in real life, but the scan doesn't look as green.  I used these old watercolor stamps (Penny Black for pine & Art Impressions for sentiment) with Marvy Brush Markers for this image and sentiment.  I used Miracle Tape to hold the watercolor paper to brown layer.  ATG tape wasn't strong enough to hold it firmly.  I mounted the image to a white card base.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tea staining

There is a tutorial on the Stars & Stamps blog on using tea bags to stain your cardstock before creating cards.  I drink lots of tea so this was easy to try out.  I used watercolor paper because it absorbs liquid very well.  Different kinds of tea will give different colored stains.  Here is the first card I made.
I stamped the stained watercolor with a Penny Black brushstroke stamp.  I inked the rubber with Marvy markers, then spritzed it with water before stamping.

Next, I made another card that turned out a different color.  I didn't keep track of what kind of tea bags I used.  It was whatever I was drinking.  I drink both green tea and herbal teas.
For this card, I used a different Penny Black stamp.  I didn't get a great image, so I added some water from a waterbrush to spread the ink around to make it look like flowers.  The Thank You stamp also didn't give a good image on the very rough surface.  I added some ink for my Memento marker to fill in the letters.  The After scan is after repairing the sentiment.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More colored stickers

The roses and the sentiment started out as gold metallic stickers.  I colored them with Sharpies before putting them on the card.  It's nice to be able to change the color instead of always using gold or silver stickers.

Coloring stickers

On this card, I colored the rose stickers with a Sharpie before removing them from backing page.  After allowing them to dry, I placed them on the patterned paper and added the oval sticker frame, then cut it out with a Spellbinders classic oval die.  The corners are also stickers.

More stickers

After watching the video tutorials at Pop-Ups, I have been trying some of the techniques I learned in usings the stickers.  This card uses 3 different kinds of their vinyl peel-off stickers.
I placed the rose sticker onto the cardstock, but did no coloring.  I then placed the oval frame around the roses.  Next, I found a Spellbinders die that would cut out the entire image.  This is popped up with foam dimensional tape.  The sentiment is also one of those stickers.  I placed the image onto a diecut from a Spellbinders die called Ribbon Banners.  The background paper is from Basic Grey.  Since the paper had green in it, I used a green ribbon for balance.

These stickers are all shiny metallic gold, but the color doesn't show up that well in the scanner.  I've tried using photos, but that creates too much shine off the gold and distorts the color.  You'll just have use your imagination.

I have a lot more stickers to play with, so watch for more ideas for using them.  You can learn a lot from watching all these videos.

Monday, August 6, 2012

More eagles and trees

When I bought the sheet of eagle stickers from Pop-Ups, each sticker is different.  Some are the same except in reverse and some are larger than others.  I made more cards like the ones I posted in the previous post, except these face the opposite direction.
For those who have asked, I purchased the tiny stars embossing folder from Hobby Lobby Online.  The trees are cut from a very old original Sizzix die called Tree, Pine.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Masculine cards

The August challenge for Our Daily Bread Designs on the Stars & Stamps blog is to make masculine cards for Operation Write Home.  I do enjoy making masculine cards.

I just received an order from Pop-Ups of vinyl peel-off stickers.  They have a great variety.  Be sure to watch their videos on how to use these stickers.  Very educational.  For these cards, I used the eagles and the sentiments.  I applied to eagles to white cardstock, then colored in the wings with Marvy markers.  They are popped up with foam dimensional tape. 

The stars are embossed with an embossing folder from the Paper Studio called Tiny Stars.  I patted on some white Brilliance ink to make the stars show up better.  I like Brilliance pads for this because the are firm and not too juicy.

The trees are cut with a Sizzix die called Pine Tree from textured cardstock.  The ribbon is velvet ribbon made for Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Almond tree

We've all heard that almonds are very healthy to eat.  Have you ever seen them grow?  I hadn't until now.  When I moved into this house in February, I noticed this small tree in my neighbors yard.  When it bloomed, it was very pretty.  I asked my neighbor what kind of tree she had.  She didn't know.  She said it developes fruit, but they never get ripe.  Little did she know.
The tree began setting fruit that were fuzzy and looked a bit like apricots, but remained green.  Now, the green fruit has split and they are beginning to fall to the ground.  Inside each of them is an almond.  We have begun picking them up off the ground and removing the husks.

I have collected some in a box in the last couple of days.  My neighbor told me to take them.  She has lived there for 10 years and didn't know what they were.  There are plenty for both of us.

I searched the Internet for information.  They said to remove the husks and lay them in the sun to dry for a few days until they rattle when you shake the shell.  For now, I'm putting them on my patio table until monsoon season ends in the desert.