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 :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Make It Monday Challenge #176

I just love Laura Bassen's art and her videos! So this one spoke to me to try. I am too late to enter the challenge, but I did want to try the embossing paste!

Here's my take...

This is my first try with embossing paste that had reasonable results! Making a stencil with the PTI Background Basics Evergreens dies, I colored the embossing paste with reinkers from SU Bold Brights (retired) in 2 different greens. 

I first used the die cut to mask and watercolor the sky on Tim Holtz watercolor paper. I didn't wait long enough for it to try, and set the stencil down to use the colored embossing paste to fashion the trees. I also made a stencil for the single trees in the front. 

The thing I learned was to lift up the tool to make the paste raise up like the limbs of the trees would do. I love the look of it!  I'm not sure you can see but on the line of trees, where the sky was still wet, the green seeped into the wash... it actually looks more realistic!

I painted a blue landscaping line to simulate drifts, not sure it worked though! The snowflaker are from Lil Inkers and the sentiment is from Simon Says Stamps. I used the glitter paper pieces from the diecuts as snowflakes, as well as SU Mica Flakes, that are glued on with Multi Medium Gloss. 

Yes the temperature here was 42 degrees F this morning... reminding me that even if I am not ready, Fall will be here soon enough! 

Monday, August 4, 2014


So the second challenge is my favorite! I am hoping I can use this card for at least two of the challenges if I can figure out how to save them that way :)

Here's my card:

The card base is PTI Classic Kraft. The watercolor is done on Tim Holtz watercolor paper, layered on SU Early Espresso paper with scor-tape after sponging the edges of the paper with Early Espresso. The twine is kraft also. The watercoloring is done with Distress inks on the PTI Botanical Block after being stamped with Antique Linen.  

The greeting is white heat embossed twice and three pearls are added with Multi Medium Matte for dimension. Just love this image!!

This is a style of card I am sure I will use frequently!


Who knew? I have been on the Splitcoast Stampers website for quite awhile, but never knew all that was there to access! Looking at other cards and getting inspiration for SU stamp sets for a couple of years now, but never joined until Marie (SU Demonstrator) suggested that I think about posting some of my cards.

What a thoughtful person! Once the idea was out there, I had to try. I set up my own gallery and started to upload a card or two. Then came this blog... now I am trying challenges! Who knew?

DTGD Challenge 1:  Never tried this before...

The stamp is Altenew Sketchy Cities America ... The inks are Distress inks for the color wash background and the water. The greeting is embossed white and then stamped black and embossed with clear powder. The watercolor paper is added to the second layer of SU Sage Shadow with foam tape. That layer is attached to the white base with double sided tape.  

This second card is with Wplus9 Guiding Light, again using Distress inks for the water and background wash, wet on wet. I did use Distress Black Soot for the black second stamped image. The greeting is stamped with black ink and clear embossing powder twice to give it some added dimension.

Tim Holtz watercolor paper is attached to the black layer with foam tape. The black layer is attache to the PTI classic kraft with double sided tape. 

This was so amazing- hope to try it again!


Loving watercoloring as I do, I couldn't wait to get to the new PTI Botanical Blocks stamp sets. The feeling that they would just be so perfect for water colors overcame me! But I wasn't ready to think about cards - the whole design thing :)

When wrapping gifts, I always seem to be missing tags for the package. I keep thinking I need to get a tag die- to set the stage for me. But in reality I just needed to have an image in mind. So both of these ideas together helped me...

Here are my new tags...

Just look at that rose! Love how it came out.. again with Distress inks stamped first with Antique Linen.

That rose led to this group of tags! Just love them from a variety of stamp set but all water colored with Distress inks, except for the candles which are stamped with SU colors...