Friday, December 20, 2013

Merry Monday #88 {Use an Animal on your Christmas card!}

When I found this challenge (by way of The Empty Nest Crafter), I just knew that the time had come to try combining two of my favorite card makers' techniques.

I love vintage images, and have always wanted to make a card using this image from a postcard. The little birds are so darling. (The image at the head of this post is a close-up.)

Gloria Stengel has the blog "Scraps of Life", and she is a blooming genius when it comes to making the most of vintage images. One of her favorite techniques to help bring vintage images and patterned papers together, is to add the same color border around all the elements. Deep Brown and black do a very good job at this.

The other artist who floats my boat, using vintage images, is Ginny at Polly's Paper Studio. Ginny (maybe she has a pet parrot named Polly?), makes the most FABULOUS embellishments for her creations. At Christmas and Halloween, you can go bonkers looking at all her amazing work.

Seam binding makes a nice soft bow (if you know how to make a pretty one - which I don't) on which to mount all manner of buttons, string, bells, rosettes, or any other item that won't fall off of it. Go back in Ginny's archives if you've never seen her work. You'll never look at bows the same way again!
Managed one last shot before we lost our sunlight, because the other shots didn't show the little bit of glitter to jazz up the bird image.

Papertrey Ink 'Fine Linen' cardstock, Recollections metallic brown cardstock, patterned paper from KaiserCraft's  'Just Believe' small pad and K&Co.'s 'EB Visions of Christmas small pad, Creatology's snowflake buttons, Hemptique's variegated green hemp cord,  Hug Snug's Ivory seam binding, jingle bells, miscellaneous ribbon and lace, and Martha Stewart's crystal tinsel glitter.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leaving a comment. See you hopping through the blogosphere, and have the happiest of holidays!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Papertrey's November Blog Hop - Paper House

After a long absence, I'm finally posting again. Who can resist making little paper houses, especially at holiday time when bling is a necessity? Papertrey's Blog Hop this November is one I just couldn't sit out. You can find the link for the house template and the blog hop here.

The house is small at only 2 1/2" a side. This was a good challenge, since most of my PTI stamps were just too big.

I finally settled on a fabric-based quilted cottage theme. (This house looks so much cozier in person. For some reason I took terrible pics of this, and had no time, or sun, left for a second shoot.) Eventually, an LED tea-light (that hasn't been purchased yet) will show off the pale pink vellum windows.

Down to the details.

I love how PTI colors work together, and I've always wanted to make a project using the lighter and bluer hues of Christmas - Scarlet Jewel, Autumn Rose, Pinefeather, and Ocean Tides. Kraft ink was used for the "stitched together" sides, using the a stamp from Sew Simple Borders. My double striped stamp made ticking walls. (Don't you just love the homey look of ticking?)

The windows are round so that the half button shutters will cover them neatly. (I stamped the die cut buttons with a small floral print, but I'm not so sure you can easily tell they are buttons now. Would some "Glossy Accents" help define them better, or should I just leave them alone?)

The back of the house shows off the 'gingerbread' lace that lines the roof on all four sides. (Used a bit of Glossy Accents on the cut ends of the trims to keep them from unraveling.) All the windows are topped the the leaves from Believe, with pink gems covering the berries.

Happy Hexagons
stamps on die cut pieces from the Hexagon Cover Plate form a warm roof. I wanted some stitching lines to enhance it's 'quiltiness', but didn't have a good  idea how to do that. Do  you have a way that has worked for you? I'd love to know what works.

Now for a second question. I REALLY wanted to glitter my little house, but thought that the glitter would ruin the fabric ambiance. What do you think about a little along the eves and maybe the windows? Roll the whole house around in it?

Saved my favorite for last - the front door. Two sets helped me finish the trimmings. The wreath is from Believe, the banner and trees are from Door To Door. (Don't those trees look like they're made from thread?)  I like buttons in the the corners of the banner, but I've not conquered the technique of button coloring using alcohol markers.

If you have any thoughts concerning my questions, or are just a dear, please leave a comment. I love hearing what fellow crafters think. Thanks for taking the time for the house tour, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Brag Monday - A Halloween Cat In a Hat card

This is just a quickie post to share a Halloween card I made using one of the images from The Graphics Fairy.

Karen (the aforementioned fairy), has some of the most unusual, and beautifully 'restored' images anywhere on the internet. The moment I saw this cat from a children's drawing book, it just cried out to be turned into the sweetest Halloween kitten ever. (Don't you just love VERY simple images, that convey volumes of personality and style? Karen seems to have the knack for finding them.)

Here are my steps to make this very simple card:
  • Saved the cat image and re-sized in (my all time favorite graphics handling program - and it's FREE!) so that it would be the right size for my premade round card base.
  • Printed it on 90 pound cardstock using black ink on draft.
  • Layered a few papers in descending circles on the card base, with the center cicle being white. (Not sure how the whiskers would look on any other color, and this cat just wouldn't be him/herself without THOSE whiskers. )
  • Fussy cut the cat graphic, then used my glue pen on the cat's face, and covered with black flocking. This took gluing a third of the image at a time, so the glue wasn't dry before the 'fur' when on.
  • The eyes worked out perfectly, because my clear green "Dew Drops" were exactly the right size. Remember to glue anything translucent, with "dries clear" adhesive.
  • A ribbon, gathered along one edge, and applied with score tape, makes a festive collar.
  • The hat is just made of coordinating papers, ribbon and a sequin (from Cartwright's Sequins - the best selection of shiny goodness on this planet, or any other). 
Presto! You have a cat that's dressed for a big occasion.

Have fun visiting all the talented folks who make amazing things using Karen's images, and thanks for taking the time to stop and visit here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Graphic 45 Easel Calendar Made with "Place in Time"

While visiting the fabulous Absolutely Everything, in Topsfield, Massachusetts, I saw one of the amazing projects that Marcia had made for a class she taught. (Marcia, plus all things Graphic 45, equal bliss.) She used the "Place In Time" 8"X8" paper pad and their 8"X8" easel album.
Marcia encouraged me to make one of my own (even though I had missed her class), and so I looked at hers very carefully, made a few notes, and decided to try it. I must give all the creative credit to her, but Marcia encouraged me to share my version, since it isn't an exact copy of hers, and because she is a generous soul.
The calendar I designed is not for a particular year, but rather a keepsake calendar for noting birthdays, anniversaries, and a few pertinent details.

I love Marcia's design of the centered month's page below the mid-line, with the monthly lined list to the left.

Just a note here. Marcia cut her 8X8 month pages in half and overlapped the bottom half upper edge over the bottom of the already fixed upper half. She did this, because the easel is 8X8, but the spiral binding occupies part of that measurement, so the usable space is about 7 3/4" from top to bottom.

I couldn't bear to part with any of the wonderful page, so I attached mine abutting the top binding, and hanging off the bottom. It just fits, without bending the paper.

I chose to apply my monthly calendar using score tape along three sides, making it a pocket into which the corresponding post card could be inserted. That post card will hold personal notes about my friend's gift preferences.

 The dates I stamped on the calendar are just for the purpose of marking them with a sticker to indicate that those dates are a birthday or anniversary.

I will place a small heart or candle, stamped on a clear label and punched out with a small circle punch, on the appropriate dates.

The date and person's name will be written on the list to the left.

My plan for the wonderful images accompanying each month, was to use as many as I could, without covering any of the drop dead gorgeous illustrations adoring each base pages art. (They still take my breath away with each look.)

One trick I used to help me placing the images, was to make sure that none of the tilted images were parallel to any of the others. (If two are at the same angle, they catch the eye, and keep it from roaming over the entire page effortlessly.) Just the smallest tilt in either direction will fix the problem.

My only real dilemma is how I'm going to get all the candle stickers on December 24 and 26. Seven of my friends have been born between Christmas Eve and New Year's! This is proof positive that children are indeed a gift.

My calendar pages are back to back, and this left two sides blank. To fill one of those, I used a calendar set by "Inkadinkadoo", one by "Papertrey Ink", and two border stamps from "The Stamps of Life" to make a background paper on kraft. I also waded up a small mitt full of plastic wrap, tapped it on my white stamp pad, and tamped it over the surface to mottle it a bit. (I should have used cream ink, but I had none.) Papertrey's "Tremendous Tags" dies were used to cut the tags.

Thanks for stopping by to have a look. I would love to hear any comments you may have. Happy crafting.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Papertrey's Make It Monday #117: Paper Piecing

Something about Nichol's fabulous "Up, Up, and Away" stamp set, always reminds me of July 4th. It was the first set I ever purchased from Papertrey, and has been used more than all the others.

I was going for the feel of a hot summer day, and a more minimized style than I usually do. The card works for me......but something is missing! I've tried out sentiments placed here and there. (By the way, you can do this by stamping on a piece of scrap acetate with non-dye inks, and moving it around the card till you find the right spot.) I didn't find the spot. I tried a long flag from the top of the balloons; looked ridiculous, but even more so with a bird pulling a banner through the sky (think big primordial-bird-size or Godzilla bird)!

Please! If you have any ideas to help make this card work, I would so appreciate them. I love all my comments, but the critiques are the ones that stay with me.

Papertrey supplies: "Pinefeather cardstock" and "dye ink", "Up, Up and Away" and "Garden Variety" stamps sets and "Fresh Snow Pigment Ink"

Thanks for taking the time to visit and jot me a line.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Card for All Reasons

Hi folks. It's time to play along with Crafty Secrets' Linky Party. I love the vintage look of their Clear Art Stamps, and for this card, the bunnies from 'Happy Easter' are having an outing.

 I was in an Easter mood when I created this, which explains my color scheme for the house.  

However, I think this card could also be a 'Welcome to your new home' or 'Congratulations on your newest family member' or 'Happy Mother's Day' card.

I stamped the rabbits in Stazon brown, colored the images with Prismacolor pencils, and used Gamsol for blending. They were a bit noodgie to fussy cut, but no ears were lost in the process.

The windows and doors are from Papertrey's 'Home Made' stamp set, and they are embossed and cut out. The door is finished with a wreath of ribbon trim glued in a circle with a silk ribbon bow. I already have more plans for cards made with these two sets.

Thank you for taking the time to visit and enjoy your Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Papertrey's April 2013 Blog Hop Challenge - Tilted

This month Papertrey's challenge is to use a tilted image in our card design. 

I wanted to do a Valentine with a sewing theme. The look of white on Papertrey's kraft card stock is one of my favorites, and worked perfectly to show off the embossed stitching and lace.

 A no-brainer was to use the Papertrey's fabulous 'Button Boutique' set and button dies. The heart shaped buttons and all the patterns on the buttons are from Papertrey's 'Heart Prints' set, and all buttons are die cut from their paper coasters. (I love the coaster's thickness. It allows a hefty cardboard shape to be cut, and it even plumps up a bit after being crushed by the machine. At $1 for  twenty-five coasters , they're a big bang for the buck.)

'Pure Poppy' ink was an ideal match to accompany my recolored Queen of Hearts image from the internet. (This picture was taken on one of those crummy, dark, rainy days. I make sure to do that, so I can claim how much prettier it is on a sunny day.) ;>

Non-Papertrey items used include:  Darcie's large background lace stamp, Limited Edition's 'Ribbon Lace Strips' (white ric-rac), Hero Art's white embossing powder, and Crafty Secrets 'Antique Trims' stamps (lacy border).

Thanks for visiting!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sequins On my Mind & Cards - Papertrey March Blog Hop

Come on Spring! We have had enough snow in the Boston area to last us till next winter. It's time for thoughts of flowers and sequins, and that's just in time for Papertrey's Blog Hop this month.

According to the gals at Papertrey, using sequins is the latest trend. I have always had a mild sequin addiction, fueled by the fabulous finds, online, at Cartwright Sequins, Beads, and Buttons. Her motto really should be, "If you can't find it here, it doesn't exist!".

I made a very simple (possibly painfully simple?) card using the fabulous Papertrey anniversary set 'Birds and Blooms'. I've yet to purchase the dies, but they are next on the list.

I stamped the wreath image loosely with 'Spring Moss' topped by a layer of 'Simply Chartreuse', and then stamped over that with some of the individual sprigs in 'Avocado'. I love the true-color punch of  Papertrey's dye inks. My small sequin flowers and hearts were glued on with 'Liquid Pearls'. (If I'm neat enough, the Liquid Pearls come up through the holes and form the flower centers.)


I decided to use a sentiment from the wonderful 'Mini Blooms' set.  I don't know where the font for that set originated, but it seems to go with just about any image. A little sheer bow, and voila....or maybe not. I tried making the card narrower, and putting a pink gingham strip of paper down each side, but it still doesn't seem right to me. I even considered using one of the great birds perched on top of the 'T', but what color ink would I use? If you have any insights, please leave me a comment. (I'd even love a comment if you are as baffled as I am.) One brain is always better than none, or something like that.

Other  supplies include Ranger's 'Liquid Pearls' in Cantaloupe, Versa Mark's 'Water Mark' ink pad, Ranger's 'Fine Gold Embossing Powder', and Papertrey's 'Vintage Cream Cardstock'. The fun pink frame, at the top of the post, is from the maven-of-all-images-vintage, 'The Graphic's Fairy". You can find the frame in black here.

If you enjoy sequins on Easter projects, you might also enjoy my posts here and here. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, and happy spring!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Papertrey March Blog Hop - Easter Egg Balloon with Bunnies

Who is this cute bunny and what is he waiting to do?

If you want to find out, grab a cup of coffee or tea. This is a bit longer than my usual post. (More pictures; not more text. Whew!)

He's the new die cut bunny (with extra details) from 'Papertrey Ink', and he will be riding in an Easter egg hot-air-balloon with this friend!

Papertrey's February release was a blast, and when Easter goodies came in the mail, they just begged to be put to use - immediately! The biggest thrill was the Shaker-like basket die. The basket is a breeze to make, and Nichole Heady has designed the die to make two different sizes.

I've always loved the vintage Easter postcards, with decorated eggs playing the part of a hot air balloon. With dies for a basket, bunny, clouds, and butterflies (all from Papertrey), and a 4&3/4" Styrofoam egg, I decided to whip up a ride for the darling rabbits.

I started by covering the large egg in blue felt.

The felt was trimmed to the circumference of the egg, divided into four equal sections, and pined around the center and pinned together at the 'poles'.

The excess felt was cut away,

and the seams sewn together with a whip stitch. (You can even just pin the seams in place if you cover them with ribbon afterwards.)

Now for the fun part, decorating. I chose to pin on the clouds and butterflies.

The butterflies were a bit plain so I added sequins. (Cartwright Sequins is bling heaven. If you can't find your sequins there, you probably can't find them.) Thick black button thread forms the antennas.

Now on to the basket; the small version of Papertrey's new 'favor die' basket. All the parts were cut from felt, and a heavy weight paper basket bottom, made stitching the sides to the base much easier. A strip of felt (on the inside where the brads are inserted) added reinforcement and structural support for that side.

Next, the passengers. Papertrey's new bunny die, slays me, but it needed a front as well as the cute back. The eyes are just leftovers from die cutting felt, the nose is a little brad, and the arms (drum roll please) are from a large snowman die. (If your bunny's going to ride, it needs to be able to hang on, right?)  Attach the tail to the back side, eyes and nose to the front and button hole stitch them together.

The arms are actually attached to the inside of the basket with the toes hanging over. When you sew the bunny body to the basket, it will hide the sewn on arms.

This side has a scared bunny holding on with both paws. A length of bakers twine is sewn on to the two long sides of the basket (and topped with four small Mokuba ribbon flowers),

and hung over two small buttons pinned to the balloon sides.

Now to fly it and enjoy an Easter ride.

Bye for now, and thanks for going along for the ride.
Please leave a comment if you liked this post, so I know if I should do more.

Papertrey Ink Supplies: Shape Up Series: Snowman Die Collection, Polka Dot Parade #1 Die, Favor It Box 9 Die Collection, Beautiful Butterflies Die Collection, Heart-2-Heart #6 Die Collection (clouds), Lovely Layers Die Collection, Felt - Harvest Gold

Other supplies: Rayon/wool felt, small brads, Mokuba ribbon flowers, turquoise baker's twine, white trim, sequin pins, Plasteel 'Dylite' large egg, and all sequins from Cartwright Sequins

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