Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Joy is the Spirit of Christmas

This is my second card today, following in the wake of the last with many of the same colors and challenges for inspiration.  Lately I am so much drawn to clean edges and the bright freshness of white.  There was a time when I just couldn't help myself reaching for the inkpad to ink the edges of everything; now I almost hesitate to.  I suppose it proves that the only constant thing in life... and art... is change! :)

Here is the card:

I have based it on this week's Sketch 114 over at Mojo Monday:

Here are the other challenges, all of which are 2nd entries:
2) Papertake Weekly "Christmas Crackers"
3) Creative Card Crew #38 "Favorite Things"
4) Colour Create #32 "Green, White and Red"
5) One Stop Craft "Snowflakes"
6) Saturday Spotlight #8 "Ornaments"

Here are a few detail pictures:

I attached the gingham-checked bow on top of the dark green one using a small sequin pin.  It is snug and secure this way.  The ornaments are cut out from scraps of the same sheet of paper used on my Believe Christmas card using an X-Acto blade; then I attached them at different 'heights' using 3D Zots:

Finally here is a closer view of the tag.  The sentiment was not laid out this way; I had to ink the words individually (and carefully!) in order to make it fit onto this size circle.  The edges of the scalloped Nestabilities circle and EK Success-punched circles are inked with ColorBox "Evergreen" pigment ink by Clearsnap.  I cut out the holly leaves by hand and the red brads are from Spare parts (they also serve to cover up a tiny but unsightly ink splotch from my re-arranging of the sentiment!)

 Materials used on this card:

DCWV Christmas Card base
"Magic of the Season" patterned paper from Hobby Lobby
White and bright green cardstock

*The NEW Cuttlebug Snowflakes embossing folder!  I just received this in the mail from BettyB and let me tell you it is WONDERFUL--Thanks so much Betty!! :)
Martha Stewart Doily lace edge punch
Ribbons from stash
Red brads from Spare parts
ColorBox "Evergreen" pigment ink from Clearsnap
 PrintWorks Art Stamps "Clearly Defined Christmas sentiment set

Thank you very much for visiting, happy crafting all and as ever,
Have a great day!

PS--Don't forget to enter the drawing for my November 10K hits Giveaway before the 30th! :) 

"Believe" Christmas

What a beautiful week this has started off to be!  It is finally feeling like fall here and I actually saw some COLORED autumn leaves this morning! :)  Just in time for Thanksgiving.
On to today's first card:

The challenges are as follows:

1) 2S4Y: Kazan's Sketch 40 (flipped horizontally):

2) Papertake Weekly "Christmas Crackers"
3) One Stop Craft #56 "Snowflakes"
4) Colour Create #32 "Red, Green and White"
5) Saturday Spotlight #8 "Ornament Obsessions"
6) Creative Card Crew #38 "Favorite Things"

To make the flower, I took a red fabric bloom from Spare Parts and patted it into embossing ink, then I heat-embossed it with Ranger Superfine clear powder.  This was tricky, since my old heat gun has gotten a short in it, and will only work if pointed straight up towards the ceiling.  Ack!  I got some singed fingertips during this step! :{  While the embossing was still tacky I covered the bloom with Martha Stewart fine Garnet glitter, then covered this with a few more layers of embossing powder.  It is VERY *sparkly* and slightly stiff, so it holds up well.  The center is made using the Martha Stewart snowflake punch.

The twine as a corner element was my husband's idea; he has a good eye, doesn't he? ;)  I love using twine to capture a simple, home-spun goodness in my cards.  It cheers me up.  I also love this color combination as it is so very easy to work with... black, red and white have always appealed to me as being so timelessly classy.  Holly is another of my favorite holiday emblems, along with the nativity star and snowflakes and christmas trees and... need I go on? :)

 Materials used on this card:

DCWV Christmas Card base
Patterned papers from 2009 "Magic of the Season" paper stack from Hobby Lobby
Bright green cardstock

Red fabric bloom from Spare Parts (see above for directions to alter)
MS Garnet glitter
Ranger Superfine clear embossing powder
Shorted-out heat gun (I do NOT suggest this however!) :{

EK Success circle punches, 3/4-inch through 1-1/4 inch
"Believe" metal embellishment charm
9mm red acrylic gems
Butcher's twine

Thank you for visiting, happy crafting all and have a really wonderful week!

PS-Don't forget to enter for my November 10K Hits giveaway before the 30th! :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scherenschnitte Nativity

As I stated in my last post, this weekend I have fallen in love with the old art of scherenschnitte all over again!  It is so direct and the results can be as simple or ornate as you have the creativity and patience for!
Although this second piece is not fully in the old world style like the first, since this IS an Old World art form I am submitting it to the Moxie Fab World Christmas challenge also.

This is my design for a nativity scene, with vines, stars and doves above.

I cut out the symmetrical portions first out of white origami paper (it is strong but cuts easily); then I unfolded it and cut out the figures:

Next I adhered the design to the patterned navy-blue paper using my ZIG glue pen, and then, last of all I added a glittered nativity star sticker.

Thank you for visiting, and happy crafting all!

Scherenschnitte "The Holly and the Ivy"

This weekend I have been drawn again to my mother's art.  When I was young, she used to enjoy doing scherenschnitte, or paper cutting.  I remember intricate Christmas trees and fall leaf displays.  When we were older and coult use an X-Acto knife ourselves, we once made a family tree together out of our mirrored names.  Mine was always difficult, due to the descending "Y".

So, in honor of my mother and also with the Moxie Fab challenge "Old World Christmas" in mind, here is the first of my weekend Scherenschnitte projects:

The design is my own, inspired by the Christmas carol "The Holly and the Ivy":

The holly and the ivy
When they are both full-grown;
of all the trees that are in the wood,
the holly bears the crown.

Oh the rising of the sun,
and the running of the deer,
the playing of the merry organ,
sweet singing in the choir.

You can see, of course, the deer and the holly, the crown of holly at the top and the hearts at the bottom to represent the Love that was born at Christmas.

Here are a few pictures of the work as it progressed.  If you want a more complete tutorial on Scherenschnitte, you can visit Cindy's Paper-cutting blog, where she also posts templates to try on Tuesdays.  Cath also featured some paper-cutting art by Nikki McClure not too long ago on Moxie Fab World, I believe.  This is a really amazing art form; very direct with wonderfully satisfying results.

This is my hand-drawn template.  You don't have to draw both sides of the design; I drew the deer on both just to get a better idea of width/etc.

Next I folded in half some sturdy old-fashioned wrapping paper that was left over from last Christmas, and began to cut starting with the small, enclosed areas first.  Be patient!

My husband came in to watch... and he caught a couple of pictures too...

After you have finished cutting you get to the really FUN part.  Up until now, you won't know exactly what the finished product is going to look like.  The first time you open up your scherenschnitte design is very exciting!

Next you should gently iron your design between two sheets of white paper or cardstock.  I then used a ZIG glue pen to attach my design to its cream-colored background; then I put it on a patterned base (paper from Hobby Lobby Christmas stack "Magic of the Season"):

I will post my second and third paper-cuts soon!

As always, thank you so much for visiting, happy crafting and soon-to-be Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Girl in the Rain

I think I've broken my own record with this card. I didn't actually mean to; but it just so happens that so many challenges harmonize SO well this week! This card plays in EIGHT--yes, EIGHT--challenges!

Are you ready? Here they are:

1) Card Positioning Systems Sketch 142:
(I've flipped it vertically)

2) Daring Cardmakers "Scraplings" - 3rd entry
3) My Time to Craft #66 "Under My Umbrella"
4) Creative Card Crew "Strings Attached" - 2nd entry
5) Secret Crafter "Four Seasons" - 2nd entry - (just think "April Showers"....)

These next are the color challenges. What I am wondering is...how did they all end up so similar?!
6) Scrapmaster's Paradise Color Combos #24 - Bashful Blue, Real Red, Certainly Celery

And here is my card:

I made the umbrella 3D by stamping 3 separate images and cutting out parts of the umbrella in each, as follows:

First I practiced my coloring with Crayola colored pencils; then I used a ZIG Glue Pen (I love this thing!) on the raindrops and Comotion Cleartops "Gossamer Blue Glitz" embossing powder.  I find that my new glue pen does not let the embossing powder blow away when in thin lines, the way my embossing ink pens sometimes do.  This particular powder does shimmer slightly.  I embossed the raindrops on each layer, so that they would be uniform on the finished image.
Next I cut out the pieces with my X-Acto blade and attached them on top of each other using 3D Zots, which I had to cut in half:

This lovely image is from Nature's Blessings.  You can buy all their stamps unmounted, red rubber only for a really fabulous price--and coming from me that IS saying something! :)  Use double-sided tape to temporarily mount them to your clear acrylic blocks.  I recently purchased a number of images from them and have been quite happy with the quality.  Here is a little coloring/image detail (pre-raindrop embossing):

Materials used on this card:

Kraft and Chocolate Chip cardstock (my last sheet!--aah!)
DCWV Textured cardstock Green #1
Blue paper from My Mind's Eye, embossed with Cuttlebug Divine Swirls
Script paper from "Autumn Splendor" 8x8 collection by Making Memories

"Girl with Umbrella" from Nature's Blessings stamps
Circle Punches from EK Success
Swiss Dot embossing folder
Brads from Spare Parts
Butcher's twine
Crayola colored pencils
Comotion Clear Tops "Gossamer Blue Glitz" embossing powder
ZIG glue pen
Thermo-web 3D Zots

Thank you so much for visiting, as always.  May you all have a wonderful day, and happy crafting to everyone!  Remember to enter for my early 10K hits candy before you go! :)

Have a great day,

Pumpkin Scrapling

The challenges are as follows:

1) Tuesday Morning Sketches 3-2-1 "Recipe Challenge"
2) Daring Cardmakers "Scraplings" - 2nd entry

My last card came entirely from the scrap-bin, and while this one follows in that regard, it is also the REAL size for a true scrapling--i.e., it uses that narrower bit of cardstock that's left over when you trim the full sheet down for a larger card.

Materials used on this card:

Kraft Cardstock
DCWV "Thanksgiving Words" Paper
Parchment and brown cardstock
DCWV Textured cardstock Green #1
Blue mat paper from My Mind's Eye
Script Paper from Making Memories "Autumn Splendor" collection

Clear Pumpkin stamp from the Fabulous Fall Stamp Kit by TPC Studio, colored with Crayola pencils
"Flavia" Alphabet stickers from Colorbok
Brown pigment ink from Stampabilities
Coffee Bean pigment ink from Rubber Stampede, for inking edges

Scalloped Circle Nestabilities by Spellbinders
Divine Swirl Embossing Folder for Cuttlebug
Martha Stewart Doily Lace edge punch
EK Success 1-inch circle punch

Brads from Spare Parts

Have a great day, and don't forget to enter for my early 10K candy HERE before you go!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Cornucopia

Note:  This card hails DIRECT from the scrap bin. NO new papers were harmed in the making of this card! :)
The challenges are as follows:

1) The Cuttlebug Spot "Fruit" theme (OK, so there are a few vegetables in there too... ;)
2) Creative Card Crew "Strings Attached"
3) Daring Cardmakers "Scraplings"
4) Secret Crafter "Four Seasons"

Materials used on this card:

Parchment cardstock
Brown cardstock
Blue mat paper is from My Mind's Eye
Patterned blue paper and script from Making Memories "Autumn Splendor" collection--a current favorite
"Orange Stripes" from the My Mind's Eye "Wild Asparagus" collection--another favorite

Clear stamps from the Fabulous Fall Stamp Kit by TPC Studio (JoAnn's)
Brown pigment ink from Stampabilities
Coffee Bean pigment ink from Rubber Stampede, for inking edges

Scalloped circle dies from Nestabilities by Spellbinders
Martha Stewart Doily Lace edge punch
EK Success small corner rounder
"Wrought Iron" embossing folder from Cuttlebug folder+die set

Brads from Spare Parts
3/8-inch brown Robert Stanley ribbon
Butcher's twine

Detail of coloring:

I colored the images with Crayola colored pencils. I know some folks prefer Prismacolors, and these really are superb pencils. But I just can't buy brand new CP's when already I have a big collection of perfectly good Crayolas sitting around. These do just fine as well, and the color selection has never let me down, even from the medium-sized box!

Here's a quick tip I've learned as well:
If you want smoother blending with colored pencils, try coloring
over your image first with the WHITE pencil.
Make sure you lightly cover the whole area, since if you miss a spot then it will show up as darker color when you add the next layer. Then color as you normally would over the white base. The overlaid colors will lay down smoother and blend more easily this way. Of course, I have also found that if you use a regular glue stick to adhere the image to its mat first, the glue softens the paper and if you color at this point, it will also give you a smoother image. The key is just to be patient and not press down too hard.  I've also heard that baby oil helps to blend; but I've not tried it yet.  Probably that technique will be a favorite go-to after the baby himself is here :).

Here's a view of the inside, using that wonderful embossing folder "Wrought Iron," which I just fell in love with as soon as I saw it!...Isn't it stunning?!

I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is already so very close. I don't know about you all, but I am getting into baking mode! Pumpkin bread and walnut apple crisp... yeast rolls, gingerbread and all! Later this evening I plan to make some banana bread. I think there will probably also be chocolate involved. :)

As always, thank you so much for visiting. Your comments really do brighten my day, and I appreciate the chance to see so much lovely work from others that both lifts and inspires.

Don't forget to enter for my big (early) 10K blog candy HERE before you go! :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Carrot Tree, 4 Challenges

Usually one does not immediately think of Orange, Kraft and Green as a Christmas color palette; but I have had a really enjoyable time this afternoon making this Carrot Tree Card:

I've used Sketch 140 from Card Positioning Systems:

And here are the other challenges:

2) Stamp Something "Cute and Fuzzy"
3) My Time to Craft "Scallops"
4) Daring Cardmakers "Punches"

I am not normally a humongous House Mouse fan, but the Happy Hoppers do make me smile.  It think it's their lack of little claws!  I like how the Martha Stewart snowflakes on this card also remind me of the frilly foliage on the tops of carrots (I suppose you'd have to be a gardener to think of that, really...or a rabbit! ;)

My latest favorite tool has been the X-Acto blade (as some of you may have noticed!).  It's amazing what getting some new, sharp blades can do for you!!!  I hadn't meant to cut around these little guys for this card... but almost every time I go ahead and do a close cut, just for experimentation's sake, I am pleased with the result.  You never know unless you try; the worst thing that could happen is that you'll have to stamp and color the image again.  I find that the close cuts just add that much more detail, and focus your attention more keenly on the most interesting elements.

As for Kraft paper, it's quickly becoming my obsession; I LOVE its look!  So versatile, so simple, so very krafty-fab!  Sadly, however, I think this card used up my last sheet--unless I am very lucky and have some hiding out somewhere.

Materials used on this card:

Kraft cardstock and Kraft White Paisley from Making Memories
Forest green cardstock
Basic orange paper from My Mind's Eye
White cardstock (for stamped image)

"Carrot Tree" from Happy Hoppers 2006 collection by Stampabilities
Image stamped with Archival Black ink and heat embossed with Ranger Superfine clear powder,
Colored with Crayola pencils and BIC Markit Marker (Key Lime), for the tree
Martha Stewart snowflake punch
Brown buttons from stash
Butcher's twine (find this in the painting & tools section of WalMart)

X-Acto blade
Nestabilities scalloped circle dies
Cuttlebug machine and Divine Swirl embossing folder

Thanks for visiting, happy crafting all and have a wonderful day!

Clean and Simple Snowflake

There's a real hum-dinger of a challenge on over at Charisma Cardz...

Well of course when I saw this I thought, ok, there's No way... Not possible, Not for me...
Of course, even I know that's the surefire way to spot a challenge that will make you get outside your comfort zone and really grow.  So, here I am... playing the impossible!

I came up with a sketch for this one in my head during the middle of the night; it was primarily the thought of pleated paper, white-on-white, that got me going.  I've been leaning more toward a clean-and-simple style of late anyway... so I decided this was a chance to really go all the way with it.  I assumed the prohibition against backing papers did not include mats, since the DT had a few in there too... so as far as I'm concerned those papers don't count! :)  I pleated the paper by hand, as I don't own a crimping tool.  That part was tedious, but worth it.  I love the clean, freshly-fallen-snow look of this finished card.  It glitters a lot more in real life than the photos show.

Materials used on this card:

White cardstock
Country Blue Crackle from The Paper Studio
Xerox #32 Silver Pearlized Elegance 32 lb. paper (Office Depot clearance)

Holiday Time Glittered Snowflake sticker (CLX1305), from WalMart
Stampabilities "Merry Christmas 06", stamped with Stampabilities Embossing Ink and heat embossed with silver powder
Irridescent Bead Garland
Martha Stewart Snowflake Punch
3/8-inch Robert Stanley white ribbon
Silver brads from Spare Parts

Thank you for visiting, and have a wonderful evening all!

Cherry Branch

What a lovely morning it is!
I've had a productive morning of cardmaking between loads of laundry; but, as often happens with me, the cards I come up with don't actually fit any of the challenges I sat down meaning to play in!
Finally, though, I managed to buckle down and finish this one:

Here are the challenges:
1) Papertake Weekly Sketch 27

I had to stretch a little, using a muted cousin of the rust-shade... but all in all I like the combination.  The coloring is difficult to see in detail, as the colored pencil is rather light and gets washed out in the photograph.  I can't say I would have thought to use a sky blue ribbon with this card on my own; but I like it.  Here's a little closer detail:

Materials used on this card:

White and black cardstock
Kraft White Paisley by Making Memories
Marcella "Bungalow" 12x12 Papers from K & Co

"Cherry Blossom" stamp by Rubber Stampede,
heat-embossed with Ranger Superfine Clear embossing powder
Tiny Alphabet "Chloe's Closet" collection by Making Memories
3/8-inch Robert Stanley sky blue ribbon
Antique Silver Metallic brads from Spare Parts

Thanks for visiting as always, and have a great day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nativity Cards

On both of these nativity cards I wanted to capture the simple majesty of the Savior's birth through emphasizing the glimmer of the special starlight on that night.  The ladies at Our Daily Bread Designs happen to have a shimmery holiday challenge running right now, so I decided to share.  While I love all kinds of Christmas cards, from cute and fun to classy vintage, the very best thing to me is to capture the true spirit of Christmas with something focused directly on the Savior.

Materials used on these cards:

Card base light powder blue cardstock
Winter Blue Words from The Paper Studio
Textured Gold paper (Michaels)

Rubber Stamps:
Holy Family (Stampendous)
Christ the Lord (Stampabilities)
Images stamped with Black Archival ink and heat-embossed with Ranger Superfine Clear Powder

Glittered Nativity Star Sticker from Holiday Time Snowflake set CLX1305 (Wal-Mart)
BIC Markit Colors: Misty Blue, Oceanview Blue, Woodsy Brown, Honey Brown and Tiki Hut Tan
Crayola colored pencils
3mm rhinestones from JoAnns

Have a wonderful day all,

Gem Bird, 3 Challenges

This card took me a fabulously long time; the rhinestones around the bird (meant to represent wind) are loose rhinestones from Joann's.  It took me the better part of a chick-flick to attach all those tiny, unruly things by hand!  I'm certain there's more than a few of them lost in the carpet...

As for the challenges, here they are:
1) Creative Card Crew #35: Ribbons and Gems
2) My Time to Craft #84: So Many Scallops

Usually I am not quick enough to play with the inspiringly productive gals at 365 Cards, but hopefully I can catch some of their great energy.  This time I think it was mainly luck that I was feeling like making a bird-themed card on the day they were! :)

To make the scallops I removed the corner guard from my small lime-green EK Success corner rounder and scalloped away into the sunset.  This is a great solution for getting the most out of a great tool.  You can find these little corner rounders at WalMart.  I'd like to find a bigger one so that I can make two sizes.

Materials used on this card:

DCWV Textured Cardstock Brights stack
Kraft White Mini Dot by Making Memories
"Scallop Stripe" from the Funky Vintage Lizzie Collection of 6x6 embellishment papers (Making Memories)

Gem Bird stamp from Inkadinkado clear acrylic set
3mm rhinestones from JoAnns
Multi-colored brads from Spare Parts
American Crafts Trademarks large "Jack" Rub-on letters
BIC Mark-it Markers
3/8-inch white ribbon

X-Acto blade
Marvy Uchida flower punches
EK Success small corner rounder (for scallops)

Thank you for visiting, have a great day and happy crafting all!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Autumn Flower

It's Sketch 111 at Mojo Monday this week; I've rotated it vertically this time.

There's also a challenge at My Time to Craft to tear some paper, and a Thanksgiving Theme at The Cuttlebug Spot.  The Daring Cardmakers gang is getting punchy and the One Stop Craft folks want to see some text... SO, with 5 challenges covered, here's my card:

Materials used on this card:

DCWV Textured cardstock
DCWV 12x12 "Thanksgiving Words"
DCWV 12x12 Photo stack: Burlap
Leaf cutouts from American Crafts "Truly Inspiring" 12x12 double-sided cardstock from the Goods Orchard Collection

Marvy Uchida Flower punches (med and small)
Brown and Orange buttons from stash
Sage-green grosgrain ribbon and 3/16-inch brown Offray ribbon

Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder
Sewing machine

Have a great afternoon!


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