Friday, November 28, 2014

Final Christmas Card 2014

The three wiseman was my favorite all time Christmas Carol. Also the concept of the Nativity as the "real" meaning of Christmas. So this card wraps all of that in one...

This one was a real investment of time! I did discover some cardstock that was precut that I bought years ago- and they really helped me out. This card includes partial die cutting (near the wisemen), embossing ( the greeting), stencil sponging with Distress inks (the hills), die cutting (Falling Stars on black and star with gold glitter paper) and die cutting the large stitched rectangle.

First I die cut with SSS Falling stars die in black and then die cut the curved line- so actually it made two night skies.  Using Tombow mono adhesive I attached it to the Kraft card base. The I stamped the wise men, masking to give the appearance of the three traveling together. Using a curved die, I partially die cut the hill on Kraft paper up to the wisemen. I "fussy" cut the shapes around the wisemen and then stamped the Nativity.

Using a stencil cut from the kraft, I sponged Distress inks to simulate sand hills, black soot close to the sky and the Wisemen, and Spiced Marmalade around the manger.  

The greeting is from the same stamp set "O Holy Night" stamped with Versamark and then gold embossed. The entire Kraft card stock was attached with foam tape to the card base overlapping the black sky. 

I used gold Wink of Stella marker on each of the stars, and added a star - die cut from adhesive gold glitter paper. The final coup d'etat- a bit of shimmer spray from Tsukineko. Love the shimmer on the whole card...

This is definitely my favorite Christmas Card ever! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Shaker

Couldn't get by the season without a shaker card. With almost all of our Christmas cards done for this year, I decided to try one.

I have been struggling to master partial die cutting, really struggling! Today I was reading  Lynn's blog- The Mango Boys and Me- and saw a great example using PTI's Peaceful Pinecones dies. I haven't used that set yet, and wanted to give it a try.

So using her idea as inspiration this is what I came up with:

From a stitched rectangle die cut panel, I used the middle size oval die and overlapped the pine cone shape on the edge of the platform for the Sizzix- and lo and behold! It worked like a charm! Then I stamped the design over the cut space and embossed it slightly with gold embossing powder.  Love it!

The little skating penguin is just so cute from Michaels Recollections stamps, Winter Wonderland.  On the front of the card, I stamped and colored him with Copics- sponged the sky with Distress Salty Ocean. Below the stitched rectangle panel, I added a strip of white glitter paper, and another piece just below the penguin and it really does look like an ice skating spot!

Then I attached a piece of plastic behind the pine branch, and foam taped the entire panel to the card front, making it a shaker card, with mica flakes for snow and clear mini beads. The stamp says "Wishing you..." and the inside sentiment is- Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" The hardest part of shaker cards is filling them without messing up the panel...

I am still thinking about adding a die cut snowflake on the outside in the white glitter paper... maybe...

It isn't Thanksgiving yet and I can't believe I am almost done with my Christmas cards. I also got 20 cards mailed out to the Card Drive. That Holiday class is what got me started!

Also maybe the thought that our new grand baby may arrive early and I need to be on babysitter watch for the other two girls! Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Another Christmas Card Design

After the Holiday Card Workshop 2014, ideas for cards have been ruminating in my mind. The card Laura Bassen shared was such fun to make and one layer- so this is my "take" from it...

Here's my card-

Using the same stencil, I masked off the border of the card on white card stock. Next I used the positive hills to create the snow shapes by taping them down- then stamping the village scene with black ink. Black soot distress ink was used as the background very lightly sponged over the mounds and tree masks. Then the tree was sponged with distress forest moss and walnut stain on the trunk. Distress Wild Honey was used for the star shine and sponged lightly over the town to give it an appearance of lights. 

Next I stamped Santa and the sleigh in Staz-on black ink. Using the SSS falling stars die, I made a stencil for embossing paste to add the "snowflakes." Then using Shimmer, I spritzed the entire scene with frost. The final application was Rudolph's nose with red Stickles and the town stars with silver Stickles.

After I had the materials organized it took each card about 5 minutes to complete. It was a fun card to make and looks really much better in real life :)

The inside sentiment is "Merry Christmas to all... and to all a good night!" SO my stash is now up to about 25...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holiday Cards- Day 6 Bonus Day

A bonus day! SO I finished with my final tags...

Using the larger tag die, I used the same patterned paper with snow mounds, but also included the PTI trees die from another patterned paper. Love the look and again so simple, I will be able to make several of these quickly.

It makes me look at my stash of dies differently... I need some of those cute little animal dies to use for birthdays too!

What another great class! I have so many ideas for projects that I haven't gotten to yet...

Holiday Cards- Day 5 Tags

Last day of class is all about tags. Funny with all the card making that I do I really don't make my own tags very often. I hope to change that this Christmas!

Here's my first one for my grand daughter that just loves cats!

I have three grand daughters that just love cats, so I can use this pattern for all of their gifts! It's the PTI die cut in black. Such a very simple design, I love the idea of cutting the snow from with the same stitched die on the bottom. 

The patterned paper is adhered to the plain white die cut, then the snow mound and cat are just added. These will whip up in no time!!

Holiday Cards- Day 4 One Layer Cards

Laura Bassen is just so talented and fun to watch! Today there were so many great ideas for cards from the instructors, and I settled on Laura's card, pretty much just copying it! I already have a stencil that works with her design so it worked up fast for me.

Here's my card...

After masking off the edges of the card, I placed the stencils- hills and trees and masks. I sponged Distress Salty Ocean for the sky. Using the tree spaces I sponged the green and brown trunks. Then I stamped my new $1 stamp from Michaels (love it!)... Using the SSS Falling Stars die I made a stencil for embossing paste for the snowflakes after masking the sentiment. 

Love how this came out and will definitely make a more as Christmas cards.  I may also try the PTI die from last year of the trees in a row... Bet the wreath would work too- and wouldn't a snowman look cute smiling up?!  Thanks so much Laura!

Holiday Cards-Day 3 Watercolor

My Favorite medium- watercolor! After watching the three videos for today, I decided to try Jennifer Rzasa's idea of my own sketch. I have been working on birds since the watercolor class, sketching my own.

Here's my inspiration, a photo from google images ...

So I tried a male cardinal for my card for Day 3.

I couldn't decide if I liked it better with the snowflake ...

I used distress inks to watercolor wet on wet. I tried another with both birds, but the two had a difficult time fitting on the space I had.  The berries are red stickles on the branches.  The paper is Strathmore #140. I do enjoy the painting...  Still need some work, but it is so fun! This one is for my mother...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Holiday Cards... Day 2

Sometimes having an idea can be a real problem for me! I knew when I saw Kelly's slider card that I wanted Santa and a chimney... just needed to work out the details. It's all about the details!!!

Here's my card...

When you pull the slider... this is what you get...

The Santa is from SU A Holly, Jolly Christmas, the bag is sketched and sponged with Black Soot Distress ink, tied with embossing thread.  The card base is SU Not Quite Navy. The next layer is the same color but  sponged with Distress black soot for sky. Then I used the PTI die for a slider card cutting it in the center of the 5.5 x4.25" layer.

Using a stencil I made with SSS Falling Stars die and embossing paste colored with yellow- I made the stars. Before they dried I added gold embossing glitter and heat set it. Next I added the roof with black, and the chimney which I made from a red rectangle, my T-ruler and a white gel pen, adhering it with foam tape as close to the edge as I could.

Santa is attached to a circle slider piece which connects the pull tab to his body. Foam tape adheres the first layer to the card base. I added the silver glitter snowflake just because it looked to empty without it!

The sentiment inside says "merry, merry Christmas" from the same SU set and is white heat embossed.

I think the grand kids will get a kick out of it! I did make only 5 and after the initial design issues, it worked up pretty fast! Wish my action wobbles were here! Wouldn't they go great on Santa??

I still want to try Laura's card... tomorrow!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Holiday Cards Workshop- Day 1

Online Card Classes Holiday Card Workshop 2014 is helping me get in the swing of Christmas cards. Thank goodness because I need to get going!

Day 1 was just amazing... so many ideas! I tried Kristina's technique, unsuccessfully by my standards- so will need to put that on hold. I see the 3 Wisemen with the snow- but just could not get it to work ...yet! Of course I am working without the full stencil and I am very new to embossing paste.. I know... EXCUSES!  I needed to be successful with something to continue.

So my next favorite was Jennifer's tree. Here's my take...

Once on Kraft paper...

and next on white....

One addition is the thin strip of glitter that I added to the side, the yellow star with a gem in the center. I did make a stencil like she suggested for the trunk and also for the star. 

Unsure of which backing I like best, I made 6 of each! The process went pretty fast after the arranging of the original "puzzle." I used red and silver stickles for the detail on the tree, gold Wink of Stella on the star with distress as the base and sentiments from many sets! They were a pain to put back... btw :)

Without going into too much detail, I wondered about other shapes, wreath, stocking ... but I have 15 cards DONE!!! AND I like them!

Thanks,  Jennifer! My next tackle (tomorrow) is Santa and a chimney...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

November Birthdays- Emma

Emma is our oldest grand daughter, turning 9 this year! So hard to believe... I can remember some of those very first days with her and her mom and dad just like they were yesterday...

One of her newest accomplishments is playing the piano. She is taking lessons and has memorized a song which she shared when we last saw her. We sent her a keyboard for her birthday to encourage her newfound talent and of course the upcoming Christmas songs.

Here's her card...

Again, I scoured the internet looking for ways to make a piano card. I found several but adjusted this site to suit my basic skills!

So the keyboard is actually one long fold with the keys added by drawing lines and adding the black rectangles. This side view actually helps to see it better.

I used the woodgrain white paper from my SSS order for the new online Holiday Cards 2014 and it was great! As you can see I inlaid the happy birthday greeting, and the die cut notes are added with strips of plastic folded to appear to be floating when the card is opened.

Hunting around in an old piano book from my youth, I discovered this "Birthday Greetings" music to add to the greeting! The only thing missing was the shaker card, which Emma is fascinated with... so...

On PTI Tropical Teal, I stamped the background from PTI Life's Music in SU Night of Navy.  With the PTI Building Blocks die, I cut the four rectangles.  Using a sentiment from PTI Inside & Out Birthdays I stamped in black on the white paper. What was so interesting to me was the back of the woodgrain paper worked perfectly for my idea.

Then using foam tape and a clear plastic sheet, I made a shaker card with gold and silver from the PTI Shakers Kit materials.

The one thing I would do differently next time, is to turn the sentiment the other way so the card opens like a piano. But lesson learned and I am still very happy with the way this card turned out!

Happy, happy birthday to Emma Rose Qinglio White!

November Birthdays- Avery

Two November birthdays in our family... Avery will be 4 on November 4th and Emma will be 9 on November 19th.

Avery is the youngest in her family with two big brothers. She is an absolute delight! She loves the Boston Red Sox, especially her hat :) and anything that the boys like... funny thing about that! Her Halloween costume is the character Olaf, the snowman from the movie, Frozen. So that was my idea for her card.

I scoured the internet for Olaf pictures and this is what I ended up with... not the best, but it will suffice considering Avery's four. The tough part was getting his face right.... hence admitting that I am not an artist! And of course, the Red Sox hat didn't help that look.

The card base is PTI Tropical Teal with matching PTI pattern paper. I inlaid Olaf's white circles with a die cut on the patterned paper, also cutting the dialogue box shape. Then the greeting is white heat embossed with a "4" diecut added. I then went around the dialogue box shape with white gel pen.

Olaf's face and twig arms (cut from a brown snowflake :) are added so they stick up a bit. The Boston hat is from the design on Avery's cap...

The inside sentiment is cut from the same glitter paper as the snowflakes, and Avery's name.  Lots of places to count four! I added the flakes with a thin piece of plastic so they would stick out when the card opens to appear as falling. I did discover that I could use a set of alphabet dies in my future... The SU die that I have is a bit difficult to use...

Happy Birthday, Avery! Hope she can tell it's Olaf!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Treat Boxes

After watching Laura Bassen's video on teacher treat boxes, I knew that I wanted to make them for my grand kids at Halloween. I used SU Booglie Eyes Stamp set for the vellum "Belly Band"...

Using many different Halloween patterned sheets that I had on hand, I followed the pattern from the video to make the box. The vellum belly band is using the same  sizes that were used in the video.

I heat embossed with clear powder both the sentiment and the character stamp after stamping them in black ink. 

Then I colored the vellum with SU inks. They are all filled with M&M white chocolate Halloween treats and Brach's candy corns. Kids will love them!

I also had a nice surprise from my nephew and his wife. They sent us a wonderful DVD of my brother's 50th anniversary party from July! SO I also packaged them up 2 treat boxes for their boys with this card...

Erin is a card maker so she will get a smile at seeing the one I made, I hope! The information on this card is posted here when I made it. I have been looking for a special reason to send it!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Halloween... ready or not!

For some reason I just can't seem to get into the Halloween "swing" this year! So my cards kind of reflect that lack of excitement... but they are finished in time for the grandkids!

Here they are...

Having my heart set on a shaker card...I tried them first. I just got the PTI Superstition Cat set and gave it a go...

This card is unusual for me in that it is almost square at 3.75". It just felt right that way! It is a shaker, with PTI Mighty Oak as the tree and ghosts peeking out from around it. First I cut a mask for the tree, cat, moon and (handmade) ghosts. Then using distress inks, I sponged the background on a 3" white cardstock using distress inks, black soot, wild honey and spiced marmalade. 

Then I sponged the moon with Distress inks, and stamped the Mighty Oak in SU expresso ink. Attaching the white cardstock on the black base with score tape, then worked on the next layer. I cut the window from patterned paper using the MFT Smile die, and then snipped the word out. After attaching a plastic sheet to it, I used foam tape to seal the opening after filling it with shaker materials.  The cat is cut from glitter paper in a smokey color. The trick or treat greeting is a PTI die, and cut from the same paper as the cat.

The card was okay but not exactly what I envisioned... so here's try #2...

Again, I inked a background with Distress inks on white cardstock. Making a stencil for freehand drawn ghosts, I covered them with embossing paste. After they dried I added black punches for their eyes, white gel pen for the "Boooo" and used the Madison Window die with plastic backing added under it to create the window. The patterned paper provides the cover between those 2 layers. 

After lots of foam tape, I filled the shaker with stars and silver sequins, and added the cat, die cut from PTI Superstition set and the greeting.

A closer look...

A closer look, the background colors show better here... Isn't that cat cute? One thing I did learn is that the Distress ink color will bleed into the embossing paste. It gave a scary kind of feeling to the scene, actually feeling like Halloween!

Now to get out of the shaker trend, I loved this one... I inlaid the die cut of the moon, after coloring it with Distress inks. I would have liked to do the tree also, but its impossible with the layout of the die. 

The fence is done freehand, as I don't have one! The ghosts are cut from Vellum, as are the clouds in front of the moon. I also sponged some black soot Distress ink on the clouds before gluing them down. The greeting is done in the smoky glitter, and then cut apart to fit better on the card. This is PTI Classic Kraft paper.

I do love the sentiment inside the card and the stamps, although they didn't photograph too well, 2 regular jack-o-lanterns, and another one with a cat popping out!

And my final send off for Halloween, a very simple- patterned paper with a window that the witch is looking out from the inside of the card.

I stamped the greeting on vellum with Staz-on black ink. It is also from the PTI Superstition set. The witch is from SU Halloween Hoot. Here's another look at the inside...

I have been fascinated with making little candy boxes for the grandkids from my envelope maker. I am using the website that Laura Bassen recommended... it is great! If you are interested, check here .

My next post will hopefully share a couple of the boxes...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Campbell turns 5!

Amazing how time flies... our granddaughter, Campbell, will be 5 years old on September 27th! She is really into gymnastics, swimming, soccer, princesses and preschool! Her favorite color is yellow and she is just a delight!

Here's my card for her:

From my new PTI Shakers & Sprinkles Kit, I cut the scalloped heart from PTI Classic Kraft to make the window. The actual shaker is on the inside of the card because I think it will get a lot of sprinkling before it bites the dust! It is attached with Scor-tape for that reason...

The angel on the front is stamped with Versamark from SU If The Halo Fits and white heat embossed then colored with gold Wink of Stella. The cupcake stamped on the inside is from SU Create a Cupcake in SU Real Red with SU River Rock as the frosting, and multi color stamped sprinkles. The shaker is filled with colored sprinkles - which are one of Campbell's favorite things... on cupcakes or ice cream, of course!

The stamped greeting and the Spinkles die cut is from the PTI  Kit. Happy Birthday is stamped with Versamark and gold embossed, the numeral 5 is die cut from silver glittered paper.. I can't believe I didn't have any gold! So I made the silver sequins match :)

The smaller edge of the shaker is done with black to help make it pop... the outside larger edge if the heart is diecut with the same yellow dotted paper as the word die. 

Happy 5th birthday, Campbell Grace! 

I still find myself having to follow the directions given on the Kit to make the shaker. I am sure I'll get more comfortable as I continue to make them. I tried to do a maze with the A-Mazing die set, but it was a disaster with that double sided stick foam sheet. 

I think I will need to go back to Will's card to layer the mazes again, without the Kit materials. It worked better for me ... Next up I want to try the falling leaves shaker card from PTI Mighty Oak set...

And a new sister will be here for Christmas for Campbell and her little sister, Lyla Kate! Ahhh... a baby card!

Mom's Day

If you told me that we'd be celebrating 91 with Mom this year, I would never have believed it! She is such a spirit... and it is so difficult to watch her suffer so! I think it is the feeling that we lose her so much more everyday, some days more than others.

Now that Mom has agreed to hospice at the nursing home, she seems to be in less pain when I see her ... finally!  It took quite awhile for all of the pieces to come together according to Judy, my sister who bears most of the family brunt of Mom's care.  And it seems to be so different from the hospice program here in Vermont.  Maybe the training I attended is what they would like it to be like - and the reality is very different. From my perspective, it just seems to be another hoop to jump through.

Here's my card for her-

This is my all time favorite card ever! I made it in the online watercolor class from Jennifer Rzasa's class example.  It is pencil sketched freehand and watercolored with Distress inks mixed with Perfect Pearls on Tim Holtz watercolor paper that is painted wet first - the shine is amazing! Hard to see in the picture...

The greeting is from PTI Mini Blooms and thinking of how much I love hummingbirds - that love from my mother- it just fit!

Happy birthday Mom! I love you!

I have tried some other free sketching and watercoloring- but none match this one- yet! I look on Google images and get some other bird and flower ideas to get me started... still a newbie at it! Oh I loved that class!!

Here's my catbird...

And my Oriole...

Then really brave.... Papillion! This one needs more practice for sure!

I thank Jennifer Rzasa for giving me the courage to sketch and then watercolor... and I keep practicing not only to improve but because I find it so therapeutic .. relaxing... 

My Sister's Day

My sister has a birthday on September 22nd. It is a great chance for me to let her know how much she means to me- and that is hard to describe!

Judy has always been my older sister- just by a little! But that time gap has certainly shrunk over the years- and we realize more and more how connected we are- always! With Mom in a nursing home, I really keep connected by Judy's daily texts to let me know how she 's doing.

But it isn't just that, although that is certainly a lot! It is her concern for my family and all of our connected similarities- she is just the person I know I can always count on! And I want her to recognize the same with me-

Here's my card for her-

This card was made when my order from PTI arrived with Botanical Blocks I! Using Neenah solar white paper, I diecut the SSS Happy Birthday greeting and inlaid the PTI patterned teal cut of the same with Zig 2-way glue and Glossy Accents.  I did use Post-it tape on the reverse side to hold it in place as it dried. 

Using Tim Holtz watercolor paper, I stamped the flower in Distress Antique Linen and watercolored using Peacock Feathers, Broken China and Salty Ocean. The greens were Mowed Lawn and Peeled Paint. The same patterned paper for the greeting was also used as a layer under the watercolored paper.

When I use this technique again, I will take more care with the Glossy Accents. I feel like it left too much shine to notice. I wonder how Perfect Pearls would work if I painted the whole greeting side?


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

September Birthdays

My brother's birthday always brings to mind the beginning of autumn. For me as a child that also meant school, cooler weather and other family birthdays on the way.  Since I have retired, I find myself not looking forward to that cooler weather, but remembering all of the family birthdays... and holding on tightly to that summer weather!

Here is Jerry's birthday card:

I was just fascinated by the wrap-around card idea from Cristina at the CASE study challenge... I used PTI's Mighty Oak stamp set, after two tries with the die! I wanted it to somehow work so the back of the card was stamped and the front was inlaid on the die cut. No way could I get it to work...So instead, I used the stencil (that I unintentionally made) to sponge color for the leaves, and stamped the trunk with SU Soft Suede. 

Moving the stencil, I sponged the leaves under the tree too. The SU sponged colors are Daffodil Delight, Real Red and Pumpkin Pie. With a clear Wink of Stella pen, I went over the leaves on the tree.

The Paper Smooches sentiment is embossed in white detail powder... then corner chomped edges as the finishing touch!

I am using this card for the CASE study challenge. I was so impressed with the wrap around idea... I just had to try it!  

Happy birthday, Jerry!

Friday, August 22, 2014

First Day of School

Every year at the start of school, I sent our grandkids a card welcoming them to another great school year.  This year the event also coincides with Simon Says Wednesday Challenge. It will also work for Pretty Pink Posh's Cutting Challenge.

Simon Wednesday Challenge Blogcuttingedge

Here's my card...

I found some great patterned paper in my stash from Recollections All Seasons pack. Using the stitched rectangle dies from My Favorite Things, I die cut 4 rectangles in SU True Thyme paper. Then I inlaid the die cut patterned paper and put both on a card base.  

The embossed sentiment is from a stamp that I have had forever from a dollar bin at the store. The twine is the only embellishment that I used.

Inside says, "Hope your day is awesome!"

It is so hard to believe that summer is almost over! Even though I have been retired now for four school year beginnings, I can still remember the excitement of setting up that classroom and organizing the materials for the first day! I can almost wish I were going back to the kids... almost! 

More Challenges :)

A friend of ours has recently had some bad health news. This man and his wife have lots of financial advantages - to which they generously share with folks and causes they care about. The live in Vermont on their farm property only part time and reside near Boston part of the year when not traveling.

So when you think of something to let him know how we are thinking and sending him healthy good wishes, it makes me think of a card with a note, handwritten of course! SO it was the perfect time to have a card for the Paper Smooches Challenge. I love the sentiments that I have from their stamp sets.

My new PTI Vermont die was perfect for this card! I also thought about the Boston skyline, maybe next time...

I used the watercolor stencil technique from Jennifer Rzasa in the Watercolor class, using her card as my inspiration. The stencil is from Heidi Swapp, placing it on the wet watercolor wash to dry. 

The PTI tropical teal paper and matching patterned paper was perfect for the idea in my head. The 40# vellum handled the PaperSmooches greeting even with clear embossing without warping! I also finally got the banner edge straight... I like attaching that layer to the card base to the side just a tad. Another technique from Jenn Rzasa.

The hearts are from SSS falling hearts die. All are attached with multi medium gloss. The layer is attached with foam tape to the card base.

After I corner chomped the edge, I wished that I hadn't... something just off about it! Oh well!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

MIM #177

OK... so now I am ready for another challenge! I am going to try to post to this challenge  Make It Monday #177 .  I do not own many large dies that would be background for negative space, so I chose the PTI Mighty Oak die. I can just envision it in the autumn with lots of colored leaves, many on the ground. SO here's my take:

The pictures could definitely be better... I watercolored a piece of lighter watercolor paper (80#) with distress inks before die cutting it. Since I do not have the paper Laurie mentioned, I carefully lifted the die from the machine flipping it over and put Tombo Mono glue on the back of each leaf before tapping it out of the die.

Then I placed SU True Thyme paper on top and applied a lot of pressure! Only the leaves stuck to the card base from the die. I watercolored the base with Distress walnut stain and black soot, and attached it to the base with scor-tape. 

The leaves on the ground are made with 40# vellum from the same die, painted and glued with a tape runner. They are crispy and look so much like the dried leaves before they turn brown!

The sentiment is gold embossed on the same vellum paper. I cut the sentiment in half and gold embossed the rest of it inside the card with a few stamped leaves, colored with SU markers. It is a bit difficult to read...

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, 
Every leaf fluttering from the autumn tree.

Maybe it's just because we were so cold a few mornings last week, but I do feel that autumn chill in the air!

If I were doing this again, I would have inlaid the die right into the card base, I may still give that a try :)