Monday, August 29, 2011

In a Christmas kind of mood

Christmas in August???  Sure.  Why not?  I just love Christmas and it is NEVER too early to start working on those Christmas cards.  In years past I usually make a bunch of one card.  This year, thanks to my card clubs, I will have a variety of cards ready to go.  So this is the Christmas card that I designed for the girls this month.  It looks pretty simple except that I snuck in some embedded embossing just behind the ornament- take a look at the close-up.
I also added pearls to the swirls.  I thought that I wouldn't use the pearls all of the time.  But now that they are in my stash I use them a lot.
I punched out the Riding Hood Red piece and stacked it on the Early Espresso piece and then stacked that on top of the Marina Mist matte.  Be sure they are securely adhered together then place them in the houndstooth embossing folder and run them through the Big Shot.  And Voila!  you have created an embedded embossing card.  Easy, right? 

I used the Letters from Santa Designer Series Paper (DSP.)  I challenged myself to use one of the busier patterns.  Plus I couldn't bear to use the delicious stripes included in this paper pack.  I love striped paper and usually keep them in my stash for an extra long time because I admire them rather than use them.  How silly!  I did recently create a scrapbook layout with the stripes from this pack.  Maybe, I will get that online soon. 
Stamp Sets:  Delightful Decorations
Paper:  Letters to Santa DSP, Riding Hood Red, Marina Mist, Early Espresso, Old Olive, Whisper White
Ink: Old Olive
Accessories: Basic Pearls
Tools: Houndstooth Embossing Folder, Big Shot, Decorative Label Punch

Thanks for looking!  Your comments are appreciated.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's in the details

Today, I want to share a page with you that I created awhile back. It is the first page, the intro page, to Gavin's Baby Scrapbook. It is also one of my all time favorites.
As you read my entries for scrapbook layouts you may notice that I jump around a bit. That is how I like to do it. I like to let inspiration hit me. So I typically do a few now pages, stuff that recently happened, followed by older pages. The older pages I do in no particular order. Although, recently I have been trying to finish both of the boys' baby books. I have also noticed a strong deviation from my normal level or intricacy of scrapbooking. So I think I am going to halt on pushing to finish the books and just finish them when I get to them. It so funny how demanding my self-imposed deadlines can be.
I think this one is a favorite of mine because of all of the little details.  I guess it helps that I love, love, love this photo of Gavin.  So here is a detail of the embellishment that I made.  The cardstock and designer paper is SU but the pewter thingies (can't think of the word right now) is from my stash.  You know that stash of stuff you have in your craft closet.  What a great idea!  I should use something from my stash.  I do not know if it is called a stash but in the knitting world it is so from henceforth the stuff in my craft room is called the stash.  I started with the square of DSP and crumpled and sanded it.  I love how our DSP has a white core so that you can actually sand it and see white!  The strip on the right was created by running Chocolate Chip cardstock through the crimper.  The other piece is just corrugated cardboard.  I inked it up with craft ink.  Maybe I sense a video tutorial coming......
I love the title too.  The letters are from some cheap set that I picked up at the local craft store, on sale of course.  Do you see that I used eyelets?  Is that not vogue anymore?  I got the feeling that it has gone out of style but I am not a fashionista and I guess there are no scrapbook police so I used them anyway.  The small letters are ribbon slides but I used a piece of paper instead of ribbon.  I liked it better because they don't slide around as much.
The little letters are from this cute retired set from SU.  They fit in the little hole punch perfectly.  I hope they come out with another set like that.  Here and above you can see the serious amount of spongeing that I did.  The paper was cute (also a stash piece from a paper sale- I can't resist those 4 for a $1 sales or whatever they are) but it was too plain it definitely needed some distressing.  I think I used direct to paper technique with a Not Quite Navy craft pad. The ink is much wetter and looks like paint.  I also used a stipple brush and added in more texture that way too.
And then I have the half pocket and journaling tag.  I just love the Satin Ribbon tied with twine.  The intro page always includes a letter to the recipient, in this case Gavin. 
I am not going to list everything that went into this one because I don't remember but I thought you would like to at least know the color combos.
Paper:  Blueberry Crisp, Chocolate Chip DSP, More Mustard, Not Quite Navy, Sahara Sand, Chocolate Chip, and Very Vanilla
Ink:  Not Quite Navy craft and classic ink, More Mustard, Chocolate Chip Craft
And for the SU junkies, I used Alphabits and Sanded.

The more I do this blog thing the more I like it!  I hope you are inspired to get creative!
Happy Stamping!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Video Tutorial

This card was posted last week but I wanted to revisit it with a video tutorial. I spent the last two days trying to figure out how to do this. In the end I found that you have to use You Tube in order to get a good quality video. Here is the original card:
Here is the video tutorial for the patterned paper that I created for this card. The original post can be found here.

Well that was exciting!!! Not too bad for my first ever.
Happy Stamping!

Monday, August 22, 2011

My first ever Scrapbook Layout Sketch Challenge

While surfing across paper crafting blogs I found Once Upon a Sketch.  So I am playing along with my first sketch challenge for a scrapbook layout.  I am already blown away by the other entries, you can check them out here
This layout is a hybrid.  A hybrid in the traditional sense- combining elements from digital scrapbooking and paper scrapbooking.  It also is a hybrid of  3 of the main direct sales scrapbooking companies.  I used Stampin' Up! and Creative Memories paper, and CTMH stamps and cricuit cartridge.  AND this is what I came up with:

You can click on any of the pictures for a closer look.  I usually have a lot of layers on top of each other but not stacked up next to each other.  This was a bit of a stretch for me and I love how it turned out.  Below is the original sketch. 

The journal assignment was to include two lines from your favorite song.  I have so many favorite songs that it was hard to choose.  In the end I went with my all-time favorite artist John Mellencamp.  I chose his song, "Your Life is Now."  I placed the journaling in the tiny circle and followed the circle even upside down.  Yikes!  That too is a first. 
The star and key are from the new cricuit cartridge from CTMH.  The key is in Marina Mist and Soft Suede.  The star is cut from retired Blueberry Crisp Designer Series Paper.  The larger circle is also from the cricuit.  I tied some linen thread around part of the circle (not shown in this image.)  The smaller circles are the 1 3/8" circle punch.  I punched them from the CM paper and sponged them in Soft Suede. 

The images here are also from the cricuit; I added half pearls and linen thread for interest.  To make the fleur, cut it in white and add Soft Suede to it by wiping the pad over the paper.  Yup, just direct to paper.  Then matte it in Soft Suede and add mocha pearls. 
You can also see the faint swirl on the paper behind the paper elements.  That was the stamped using pink pirouette.  It is faint but shows up better in person.  Sometimes even this professional photographer has problems with this sort of technical photography.  In my defense, close-up and product photography is a completely different world from weddings and portraits.

In this next picture, you can see the swirl that I stamped in Soft Suede.  I had fun adding both pearls and rhinestones.  I hope that Gavin isn't embarrassed by the rhinestones when he gets older.  LOL!  This picture also shows the stitching and sponging that is done all the way around the 12x12 layout.  I found a fantastic stitching on paper tutorial that you can see here.  The black smudgy paint is printed on the paper.  Isn't it divine?
The title was designed in Photoshop and then printed on vellum.  I adhered it to the back of the matte and then used a piece of artist tape that I sponged in soft suede to keep it down.  I had tried a brad at first but it just didn't look right. 
I like how you can see the many layers in this one.  Behind the photo matte and to the left of it is an alphabet strip that came from the cricuit.  I used the direct to paper method and wiped my soft suede pad across the letter strip.  Love it!  As a side note, I used my 2 way glue pen to adhere all of the cricuit elements (some to each other and others to the layer below.  I couldn't have survived with out it! 

Here is the photo after I edited it.  I basically applied a grayscale filter and then reduced the opacity so that there is still some color in the photo.  I desaturated unwanted distracting colors like the green stripe in Gavin's shirt.  You can accomplish this by isolating the green (and cyan) channel under the hue/saturation filter and then slide the saturation slider all the way to the left.  Then I added a grungy painted frame in white and grungy swirls in black. 
Well I hope you loved this project as much as I loved creating it. 

Here is a list of Stampin' Up! products used:
Paper:  Well Worn DSP,  Blueberry Crisp DSP, Soft Suede and Marina Mist Cardstock, vellum
Ink:  Soft Suede and Pink Pirouette
Tools: 1 3/8" circle punch
Accessories: pearls, rhinestones, and linen thread.
Other:  stampin' dimensionals, 2-way glue pen, sponges

Here is the list of other products that I used:
CTMH stamp sets, CM paper, CM cutting system, CTMH cricuit cartridge, cricuit, sewing machine and thread, inkjet printer, artist tape.

Have a creative day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sick days and Potential Card Swaps

My son is home sick today from school.  I had planned to get a lot of photography work done.  So much for that idea.  So I am blogging earlier in the day than usual while listening to Sesame Street.  Oh, the life of a Mom!
So on to the cards- I was working on creating a card for a swap.  The only criteria for this swap is to use 100% current SU! products.  I have very little from the new catalog but wanted to showcase at least something new so I chose the houndstooth embossing folder.  I just love the embossing folders and there is a new one in the upcoming holiday mini!  So excited!  I tried inking the folder and then running it through the Big Shot (I forgot what that technique is called.) But all I got was a inky mess.  I think the folder is too busy for that technique or maybe it was operator error.  In any case, I came up with a new technique.  I embossed the paper first and then brayered it with craft ink.  I love how it turned out.  I think this would only work on a pattern that is really raised and that is close together. 

As you can see, I also used a lot of distressing and sponging on this card.

The main portion (to the left) is a combination of most of the stamps found in the Extreme Elements set.  I started by stamping the large paint splatter in Cajun Craze.  I then layered in some Soft Suede stars and spots.  I finished off with Staz-On ink so that the top images would really show up.  Here is a close-up:

The "i miss you" sentiment comes from the Three Little Words set.  I like how it can easily be exchanges with "i love you."
For the finishing touch I wrapped the linen thread around the middle portion.  I attached the ends to the back with regular tape.  I love how the linen thread has the look of twine but it is lightweight so that it doesn't add too much bulk to my card. 
That's it for now.  I hope you enjoyed this card. 
Stamps:  Extreme Elements, Three Little Words
Paper: Cajun Craze, Always Artichoke, Crumb Cake
Ink: Cajun Craze, Soft Suede, Always Artichoke (craft,) Black Staz-On
Accessories: Linen Thread 
Tools: Houndstooth Embossing Folder, Big Shot

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One more for Operation Write Home

I know I posted a OWH card yesterday, but here is another.  This time it is chalked full of retired material.  I don't usually post projects that contain retired Stampin' Up! products but I wanted to play along with OWH sketch challenge #79 and had a special request to use the retired Travel Journal designer series paper.  So this is what I came up with. 
The blue layer is the DSP but the centerpiece is my crazy layering stamping thing that I do.  I stamped the elements from Extreme Elements in Bashful Blue and Crumb Cake.  I then stamped over them in Night of Navy using the Sentimental Journey stamp set.  I love this set!  It is so perfect for guy cards!  See how I used it on this card that I created last year by clicking here.  I also used on it a fantastic scrapbook page but I haven't posted that yet but you can imagine its greatness.  He-he.

Do you still want the list of materials even though I used a retired stamp set and DSP?
Well I think I will list them anyway.
Stamps:  Sentimental Journey, Extreme Elements (shocking!  Do I use this set everytime?)
Ink: Bashful Blue, Crumb Cake, and Night of Navy
Paper:  Travel Journal DSP, Pumpkin Pie, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, and Soft Suede

Doing these OWH cards really makes me think outside of the box or more like inside the box.  I feel like it isn't a great idea to use lots of embellishments and layers- I want to keep them mailing friendly.  So I should be back soon with cards that are ramped up a bit and more to my liking.
Happy Stamping!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Operation Write Home

I am sorry it has taken me an entire month to blog.  I have been busy making cards for the two clubs I am leading and I also recently have gotten involved with Operation Write Home.  This is a card that I designed with my friend Donna Shelton.  We tried to keep it simple so that even beginner stampers could help us quickly turn out ten cards. 
If you would like more information about Operation Write Home please follow the link  Very simply- you can make cards for deployed heros to write home on.  There are a lot of other great information to be found on the website from technique videos and templates. 
Back to the card.  I did use two retired things on this card.  First the DSP that I punched the bird from is from a retired pack.  Just substitute it with your favorite DSP and the blue layer is also a retired SU! color.
Stamps: Baroque Motifs 
Ink: Crumb Cake and Soft Suede
Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Always Artichoke, and First Edition DSP
Accessories: None (so that we could keep it flat)
Tools: Bird Punch
and lots of adhesives.  The cards are sent to someone in the states who packages a huge assortment of cards and then sends them over seas to our soldiers and then the soldiers use them and send them back to their families.  So use LOTS of adhesive.
I hope to be back soon and share some of the great projects that I have been working on.
Happy Stamping!