Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #53

Beate's latest sketch challenge inspired this card. I kind of fudged a bit on the rules, but that's usually allowed. The important thing is to jump-start your creativity.

I have to admit that at first this card had a serious case of the "blahs".

I began with the Pixie Pink cs using the Cuttlebug "Perfectly Paisley" embossing folder. But once I got past that decision I was floundering. So I decided upon the polka dotted designer paper from Making Memories' Cheeky Collection (Abby). It was perfect! Really added some pizazz. But it wasn't enough. So I punched holes around it and just over the edges with my mat pack. Then I sewed brown embroidery thread (3 strands) through the holes, as you see. Still needed something. So I punched 2 holes in the bottom area using a 1/8" circle punch and ran a hot pink narrow organdy ribbon through and tied it.

I was going to use a sentiment for the circle in the design, but ended up deciding on a flower from Doodle This. It still wasn't enough though. So I made 3 using a different (striped) designer paper from the same collection as the polka dot paper. This is where I veered away from the challenge design.

I thought it would be fun to do like I did on my last card and heat emboss with Ultra-Thick EP. It looked really nice, but I had to keep messing with it! lol So I cracked the EP and sponged Chocolate Chip ink over it to emphasize the cracks. That looked nice, still needed something. So I looked through my gem collection and found enough clear gems for 2 flowers and enough pale pink gems for one. So I adhered the clear gems to the top and bottom flowers and put the pink ones on the middle flower using Diamond Glaze. Ahhhh, that was what they needed!

Once the gems were good and stuck, I adhered them to the card with Dimensionals. I punched the bottom and top right corners with a corner punch and glued the whole thing to a piece of Chocolate Chip CS.

That's it! Phew! It feels good to have success when you think you might actually end up throwing your work in the trash!


Stamp: Doodle This
CS: Chocolate Chip, Pixie Pink, Making Memories Cheeky Collection (Abby) designer papers
Inks: Basic Black, Chocolate Chip
Other: Cuttlebug "Perfectly Paisley" embossing folder, Corner punch, Mat pack, Brown embroidery thread, 1/8" hole punch, Hot Pink narrow organdy ribbon, Sponge, Clear ultra thick embossing powder, Clear and pink gems, Diamond Glaze, Dimensionals

SC182 challenge

As I had hoped, I have been reaching for my new SU Doodle This set over and over again. I'm always happy when I get a lot of use out of a set. I have many sets that see little use, and I always wish I had known I wouldn't have found them as appealing before I had bought them! Plus, I'm looking for ways to use the SU Ginormous Flowers set, which I used with the Doodle This set on the squares.

This card is for sketch challenge SC182. You can see other samples from this challenge here.

I was inspired by this card's use of designer paper. I loved the card over all, but the designer paper was the thing that really caught my eye. I didn't use those colors, but I created my own "designer paper" in a sort of double time method.

I designed the paper using Tempting Turquoise, Apricot Appeal, and Green Galore inks, plus Basic Black for the Doodle This images. Then I punched out the squares by turning the punch upside down so I could see what I was punching and line the design up the way I wanted to each time. Once they were punched out I ran them through the Cuttlebug using my favorite folder, "Tiny Bubbles". Boy, do I use that thing a lot! I hope I don't bore anyone with it. I just love the look!

I then ran the squares through my Xyron Create-a-Sticker (permanent adhesive) to get adhesive over the whole backs of the squares. I adhered them to black cs. Then I adhered that to Green Galore cs.

For the center piece I stamped a sentiment from SU Happy Harmony first using the Stamp-a-ma-jig to make sure it was placed just right. Then I stamped the big flower from Doodle This. I stamped it again on a separate piece of white cs, cut it out, and colored it with the Tempting Turquoise marker. When it was dry, I patted it face down on my VersaMark pad and sprinkled Ultra Thick EP over it, tamped off and heat embossed it. I did this twice to give it a glass-like appearance.

I cuttlebugged the Green Galore cs under the sentiment and glued that to the black. Then I adhered (I need to find a few other words for this!) the sentiment piece to it. I used Mini Pop Dots to adhere the turquoise flower to the center piece. Then I colored the little doohickeys around the flower with the Green Galore marker. At first I just made a second copy of the flower's center, colored it and Pop-Dotted it to the center. Then I had the idea to add the gem. So I glued a large yellow gem to the center of the flower. It added a bit more "wow" than just the flower center popped up.

I used Dimensionals to put the center piece on the card. I *heart* Dimensionals!

This was a fun card to make. I think this design leaves a lot of room for creativity.

Thanks for looking!


Stamps: Ginormous Flowers, Doodle This, Happy Harmony
CS: Green Galore, Black, White
Inks: Tempting Turquoise, Green Galore, Apricot Appeal, Basic Black
Other: Square punch, Cuttlebug embossing folder "Tiny Bubbles", VersaMark ink, Clear ultra-thick embossing powder, Large gem, Mini Pop Dots, Dimensionals, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Xyron Create-a-Sticker (permanent), Tempting Turquoise marker, Green Galore marker

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Doodle This cards

I needed to make a thank you card and a birthday card. So I figured I'd play around with the SU Doodle This set using an old design standby I've used many times before. The old standbys are just more comfortable to fall back on sometimes.

Basically, the directions are the same for both except for a slight difference in colors. So I'll do a generic description keeping both in mind.

Things are pretty self-explanatory for these cards. The only things I might need to explain are the order I did the main scenes in and how to cut out this flower without losing your mind. ;)

The main section was stamped randomly so that no images would touch and that there would be a comfortable amount of space between them. I stamped, then colored, then cuttlebugged. Don't cuttlebug first or you will not get the whole images when you go to stamp. Maybe that's obvious, but I'll say it anyway. I used a water brush and a few drops of ink on the lids of the stamp pads to color things. It gave a more intense color than just wiping the brush on the pads or mashing the lid against the pad to pick up ink, although that's a good second choice. Also, markers leave more streaks, which is why I use a waterbrush. It just depends on the size of the image you're going to color.

The scene was okay, but not WOW until I cuttlebugged it with the Tiny Bubbles embossing folder. Then it really had zing! It made the white CS almost watercolor paper-like in texture.

For the flower accent, I recommend using an X-Acto knife to cut slits between the petals close to the center of the flower first. Otherwise, you might cut too much off when trying to round the bends between each petal and lose a petal in the process. Ask me how I know this! lol It just simplified the process to do that prep work first.

I colored the flower pretty much the same way I colored everything else. I cut it out after coloring, but I recommend letting it dry thoroughly before cutting. Otherwise, you might rip the flower. In fact, it might be better to cut out the flower first, and then color it. Either way, be careful! This flower image is a bit tough to work with.

I glued the gems on with Diamond Glaze. I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig to keep the sentiment just right. Love that tool! That's pretty much it!


Stamps: Doodle This, Paisley Print, Many Thanks, Birthday Greetings
CS: Apricot Appeal, Pixie Pink, Sage Shadow, Black, White
Inks: Apricot Appeal (pad and re-inker), Pixie Pink (pad and re-inker), Basic Black, Sage Shadow re-inker, Summer Sun re-inker, Pumpkin Pie re-inker, Positively Pink
Other: Cuttlebug embossing folder "Tiny Bubbles", Polka dot ribbon, Dimensionals, Gems, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Diamond Glaze, Water brush

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Friendship birthday card

This card design is similar to another one I did for Amy Westerman's Sunday Sketch Challenge. I don't think she does those anymore. Nevertheless, I felt the flower from Doodle This was perfect for this design.

To do the flower, I stamped it 3 times on glossy white cardstock and cut 2 whole flowers out and the center on the third one. I watercolored them using a water brush and the Ruby Red, More Mustard, and Close to Cocoa markers, building the color intensity a layer at a time. Once everything was good and dry I curled the petals back with a pencil-type object. I connected the layers with mini Pop Dots.

For the main part of the card I used Ruby Red cs. I stamped Canvas in Ruby Red on it. For the Cuttlebugged part I used Apricot Appeal cs and ran it through the Cuttlebug using the "Birds and Swirls" embossing folder (so pretty!). Then I sponged (more like rubbed) black ink over the cuttlebugged part.

I used a black polka-dotted ribbon, gluing it down to the Apricot Appeal and black cs before adhering that piece to the Ruby Red.

I stamped the sentiment from Birthday Greetings on white cs in Basic Black dye ink and stamped one of the swirls from Doodle This in Ruby Red and then lightly sponged a little black ink on the stamp, huffed and then stamped it on the white. It toned down the Ruby Red just right. I stamped the sentiment area with the speckled stamp from Itty Bitty Backgrounds in More Mustard with a light sponging of black ink. I mounted the sentiment on black cs and used Dimensionals to adhere it to the card.


Stamps: Doodle This, Birthday Greetings, Itty Bitty Backgrounds
CS: Ruby Red, Black, Apricot Appeal, White, Glossy white
Inks: Basic Black, Ruby Red, More Mustard
Others: Markers: Ruby Red, More Mustard, Close to Cocoa; Cuttlebug embossing folder "Birds and Swirls", Stamp-a-ma-jig for sentiment, Polka dot ribbon, Dimensionals, Pencil for curling flower petals, Sponge

Published again!

I wanted to wait until I was sure my cards were in the magazine before I said anything. Well, they are! I was published a second time in Rubberstampmadness magazine! The July/August 2008 issue!

They put 2 of my cards in an article called Tools of the Trade mainly because my cards had lots of embellishments. I used the Cuttlebug and embossing folders, mini-brads, vellum, watercoloring, etc.

Before mailing off the cards, I took pictures of them:

It's so much fun to see one's own artwork in print. And the people at Rubberstampmadness are so nice to deal with. Send in your cards and get published!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Beate Johns teaches how to tie a nice ribbon knot

From the splitcoaststampers newsletter:

Ask Beate
Beate Johns answers your technique questions
Q: Tasha asked: "This may be an odd question, but I noticed that the ribbon tied on many of your cards looks much nicer then mine, specifically the knot part. I have tried to make mine look "pretty" like yours, but haven't perfected it. Can you tell me how you are tying your ribbon so that I can achieve the same look on the knot?"
A: Here is how I tie my knots. But remember, I am a lefty, you might have to do it in reverse if you are right handed. Fold the left side of your ribbon over and under your right side. Now take the same piece of ribbon (it comes from the bottom now), fold it over the top piece of ribbon (hold the top piece down) and under again. Before tugging the knot tight, I twist the right hand side of my ribbon piece over. There is also a wonderful thread about tying ribbons in our forum.
Resources page Submit your question to Beate

Okay, so for us righties, here's the mirror of her directions:

Fold the right side of your ribbon over and under your left side. Now take the same piece of ribbon (it comes from the bottom now), fold it over the top piece of ribbon (hold the top piece down) and under again. Before tugging the knot tight, I twist the left hand side of my ribbon piece over.

Thanks Beate!! It worked!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How to use a Stamp-a-ma-jig

I can't live without my Stamp-a-ma-jig. It truly is a must-have stamping tool. Dawn Griffith has just come out with a new YouTube tutorial to show you how to use it. I use mine a bit differently in that I put the wider end closer to me. But either way works, and hers is probably the proper way.

If you've never gotten a Stamp-a-ma-jig, I highly recommend it! No more crooked stamping!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Scout camp cards

This week is scout camp for my hubby and son, so I wanted to send them a little love in the form of a card. I was up waaaay too late last night making these, but I want them to get to camp before the end of the week!

The first one is for my hubby. I just got some new Cuttlebug embossing folders in (Crop Stop rocks, btw! I put in my order on Thursday and got my stuff on Monday!) and used one of them on both cards ("Distressed Stripes").

I wanted a "camp"ish theme, but I have few stamps that would fit. So since they're in the great outdoors and since my son will be horseback riding, I figured a tree and a horse would work.

For the tree from SU Lovely As a Tree I stamped in Basic Black dye ink on white CS and colored it with Prismacolor pencils. I stamped the sentiment underneath it using my Stamp-a-ma-jig and black ink. The saying is from Savvy Stamps. I mounted it all on black CS.

I used a piece of *swoon* Basic Grey designer paper for the distressed background. I cuttlebugged it and then sponged various earthy-colored inks on it. I punched 3-1/16" holes for the black mini-brads and mounted them as well as the zigzag ribbon after mounting the designer paper to the black CS.

For the back-most piece I stamped SU Canvas in Baroque Burgundy ink on Baroque Burgundy CS (or was it Bravo Burgundy? I can't remember and the cards are in the mail) and mounted the designer paper piece to it.

I adhered the tree image to the designer paper with Dimensionals to pop it out.

Stamps: SU Canvas, SU Lovely As a Tree, "Thinking of You" by Savvy Stamps

CS: Baroque/Bravo Burgundy, Black, Basic Grey designer paper, White

Inks: Baroque Burgundy, Basic Black, Various earthy colors

Other: Cuttlebug "Distressed Stripes" embossing folder, Prismacolor pencils, Zigzag ribbon, black mini-brads, Dimensionals, Sponges, Stamp-a-ma-jig

This card is for my son. Hopefully, the horse theme will remind him of the fun he had riding at camp.

I used Really Rust CS as the base. I stamped the star from SU Artifacts on the Basic Grey designer paper and ran it through the Cuttlebug using the "Distressed Stripes" folder. I then sponged it to "antique" it and stamped another star on Really Rust in black ink, cut it out, put an antique brass mini-brad in the center of the star and mounted it over the other star with Dimensionals. I adhered all of this to black CS and then to the rust CS.

I stamped the horse in black ink on white CS and sponged black, Summer Sun, and Really Rust inks over it, blocking parts as I worked with a piece of paper to give a vague background feel. I colored the horse with a few Prismacolor pencils in the browns and yellows to pick up the colors from the distressed piece. I punched 3-1/16" holes for the antique brass mini-brads. They're so perfect for an "old west" look. I then adhered the horse on black CS and then on the distressed paper with Dimensionals.

I stamped the "Miss You" sentiment from SU Year Round Cheer on Really Rust CS using the Stamp-a-ma-jig. I moved the words side by side rather than one on top of the other as it is on the stamp and then punched it out using a square punch because I can't cut a straight line to save my life! I sponged it with a little black ink.

The ribbon was the coolest part, I think. I took orangey-orange, like REALLY orange, grosgrain ribbon with blue stitches running along the edges and sponged black ink over it. It came out a cool rusty, oldish looking color. I sponged both sides for the bow thingy.
I'm so tired. I hope I didn't forget anything!

Stamps: SU Artifacts, Horse by PSX, Word saying from SU Year Round Cheer

CS: Really Rust, Black, Basic Grey designer paper, White

Inks: Basic Black, Really Rust, Summer Sun, Only Orange

Other: Cuttlebug "distressed Stripes" embossing folder, Sponges, Dimensionals, Antique brass mini-brads, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Orange grosgrain ribbon