Saturday, September 27, 2008

A possible source of color inspiration

I don't know about you, but I tend to get in a rut with color combos. This site might help those of us who need a swift color kick in the bee-hind:


Be inspired!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So Autumn

Had to do another gate fold card. And of course I had to use the Cuttlebug to emboss the front panels!

This card started as so many others do with a different idea that morphs along the way. Rarely does a card stand completed in my mind. I wish! I usually will get a yearning to play with a certain color, or I'll just have a general aha moment when I see 2 colors together, or I'll just happen upon something that works and then go with it. That's kind of what this one was like.

I knew I wanted to do the gate fold again and I knew I wanted to use some autumn colors again. Looking through my cardstock stash I happened to run across a CTMH cs called Autumn Terracotta that was perfect. It was a nice pumpkin-y color.

I had planned to use the SU Doodle This set exclusively for the images with the biggest flower in the center. But I thought it would be too bland that way. Maybe I'll try it again later. I used the Doodle This doodles as a background on the front Terracotta panels, stamping them in Basic Black. Then I did direct to paper using Pumpkin Pie and Cranberry Crisp inks. I loved the way they worked together to add depth to the paper.

Then once the ink was a bit dry I ran the panels through the Cuttlebug using the Script embossing folder. Boy, did I like that! Then I did direct to paper with the Cranberry Crisp ink pad over the embossed parts. WOW! That thrilled me!

(Those little black dots you see are self-adhesive Velcro I punched out using my Crop-a-dile, used for keeping the card closed.)
This time I used a corner punch on not only the panels, but the black cs base as well. I think it looks more finished that way, don't you?

For the center piece I cut the scalloped circle (black cs) and then the plain circle (white cs) using my Nestabilities. I poked holes around the edges of both pieces using the Mat Pack cushion and a pin. Then I went over the white piece with the More Mustard ink pad (direct to paper) and worked it in a little extra around the edges. I'll admit that I stamped the words first. But if I were to do it over I'd stamp last to prevent any smearing. The word "SO" is from the SU So Very set. The "autumn" stamp is from Purple Onion Designs' "4 Seasons" set. I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig to line up the words properly on the circle. I only inked up the "SO" on the "SO Very" stamp. It was pretty easy to do since it's a big stamp.

For the rose I stamped the biggest rose image from the SU Roses in Winter set 3 times, first in Pumpkin Pie and then lightly in Cranberry Crisp inks on white cs. I stamped the middle rose once. I cut the rose pieces out and then mashed them some more on the ink pads to get more color saturation. Then I sponged Basic Black ink along the edges to make them stand out. I assembled the layers using big Sticky Doos to stack them up and a small one for the top piece. I curled the edges of the petals around a pencil.

For the leaves I stamped the bigger RIW leaf stamp 3 times using Old Olive ink. Then I stamped the smaller leaf over them using Always Artichoke ink and then rolling the stamp's edges in Basic Black. I did an extra 3 of the smaller leaf to pop up on the bigger leaves. Then I did direct to paper over them with More Mustard ink. Then I cut them out and attached the smaller to the bigger with pieces of Dimensionals.

The inside of the card was done using Autumn Terracotta cs which I direct to papered with Pumpkin Pie and Cranberry Crisp inks. Then I cut the corners using the corner punch and then paper pierced the edges. I attached the pieces with Sticky Doos to pop them out.

Hope you enjoy this card! I enjoyed making it!

Stamps: SU Roses in Winter, SU So Very, SU Doodle This, Purple Onion Designs "4 Seasons"

CS: Black, CTMH Autumn Terracotta, White

Inks: Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Crisp, More Mustard, Basic Black, Old Olive, Always Artichoke

Other: Cuttlebug Script embossing folder, Nestabilities, Corner punch, Dimensionals, (The Paper Studio) Sticky Doos, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Sponge, Mat Pack cushion, pin, Pencil (for rolling), Velcro dots for closing card, Crop-a-dile (for making Velcro stickies)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dream Baby

This card ended up so very different from what it started out to be. I had planned on making another fall card and it kind of took on a mind of its own. Ah well, I'm very happy with the outcome, nonetheless.

I began by using the Gate Fold to create this card. I had planned on mostly using the SU Lovely Leaves set again for the two front panels and leaving their backgrounds white. But I went a little nuts with the sponging and ended up taking things in a very different direction.

I decided to use the Cuttlebug Textile embossing folder. More sponging ensued. Then some direct to paper inking went on and before you know it it had an Old West look. Well, I loved it!
I used the corner punch on the corners and had planned on using mini brads in the open corners on the black cs, but realized it would mar the inside look. So I canned the idea.

I thought this little girl's face would be perfect against the Textile background. So I stamped her in Basic Black ink and sponged away and did some direct to paper inking around the edges with the Distress Ink and finished her off with some More Mustard and Ruby Red. I sponged a bit of black over one eye to add some mystery to her look. Then I whited in one eye to make it stand out. I added the "Dream" image from CTMH's Geometric Thoughts using Basic Black. I cut the corners with a corner punch and added silver mini brads. I used Dimensionals to pop up the image against the black cs. Then I mounted it onto the main card piece using mono multi to make sure it didn't come off later. I didn't think the mono adhesive would hold up to the weight of the piece.

The plaid ribbon was an afterthought. I threaded it under the cs inside the card and tied it to where the bow was just above the girl piece to accent it.

For the insides I used white cs cut in 3 panels to match the 3 inner sections and sponged each around the edges and did direct to paper inking with the Distress Ink. Then I sponged a bit in the middles to give them an overall vintage look. I used a thumb tack to punch the holes and used the Mat Pack cushion underneath while punching. The tack made much bigger holes, which was the look I was going for. I mounted the pieces on the inside with Dimensionals to "oomph" them up some more.

At the end I decided to distress the edges on the front of the card, so I rubbed the edge of a scissors blade across them. It added a nice "old" look. I also added a tiny Velcro tab to help keep the card closed.

I'm really pleased with how this card turned out. I hope you are, too!

Stamps: Rubber Cottage "Girl Face, Lg.", "Dream" from CTMH Geometric Thoughts, SU Lovely Leaves, Stampendous Summer Leaves

CS: Black, White

Inks: Basic Black, Tim Holtz Distress Ink "Vintage Photo", Chocolate Chip, Ruby Red, More Mustard, Old Olive

Other: Cuttlebug "Textile" embossing folder, Corner punch, 1/16" hole punch, Silver mini brads, Plaid ribbon, Dimensionals, Sponges, Mat Pack cushion, Tack (for holes inside), White gel pen, Scissors for distressing, Velcro tab for closing card

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Organizing design sketches

I've been collecting design sketches from various sources for awhile now and finally put them in a place where it will be easy to keep and look at them.

I've taken a 3-ring binder and dedicated it. I printed out the sketches and trimmed them. Then I mounted them on white computer paper using both sides of the paper, adhering them with mono adhesive. Then I put them in page protectors and into the 3-ring binder. It'll be nice to have these all in one place rather than scattered here and there in my stamping area!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Autumn Thank You

More Fall for ya! I love bringing out the Lovely Leaves set at this time of year. (I'm a little anxious for Fall to get here. Summer has worn out its welcome with all these hurricanes, don't you think?) This card represents the colors I think of when I think of Autumn.

I began with a black base. I put Ruby Red cs on top of that. But first I stamped it in Really Rust using the SU Canvas background stamp. Then I ran it twice (due to size) through the Cuttlebug using the Script folder. Then I sponged over it with Ruby Red ink to pop it out.

For the main piece with the leaves I started with white cs. I stamped the maple leaf in Old Olive, then lightly in Really Rust. Then I sponged Basic Black on parts of the leaf. I huffed on the stamp and stamped on the white cs. I stamped the red leaf in Ruby Red first, then Really Rust. I sponged the leaf with Basic Black here and there and huffed and stamped it on the white cs also. The little leaf was stamped in Old Olive. Another small leaf (hard to see) was stamped in Really Rust.

Then I used Basic Black ink and stamped the outline stamps from Lovely Leaves randomly around the scene. I ran the piece through the Cuttlebug using the Tiny Bubbles embossing folder and then sponged More Mustard and a tiny bit of Ruby Red over the white parts, but tried to avoid the leaves.

I used the corner punch and mounted the white piece to black. I punched 1/16" holes in the corners and added silver mini brads. I added the ribbon and the sentiment piece (details below) and mounted the whole thing on the Ruby Red using Dimensionals. I used Dimensionals to pop the sentiment up as well.

For the sentiment piece I stamped the Canvas stamp in Creamy Caramel on Old Olive cs and then stamped the sentiment from Savvy Stamps in Basic Black over it. Then I punched it out with the small oval punch, holding it upside down to see precisely where I needed to punch it. I then punched a bigger oval in black. I adhered them together with Dimensionals and stuck the sentiment piece on the ribbon with more Dimensionals.

I put that whole piece on the Ruby Red with Dimensionals and used a white gel pen to add dots around several of the black edges a la Faith.

For the inside of the card I took 2 pieces of Ruby Red and sponged them with Ruby Red ink. Then I used the corner punch and took off the corners. Then I used the white gel pen around the edges. I also stamped the outline stamps from Lovely Leaves in 2 corners using Basic Black ink.

Phew! That was a job to explain! I hope you enjoy this card. Thanks for looking!

Stamps: SU Canvas, SU Lovely Leaves, sentiment by Savvy Stamps

CS: Black, Ruby Red, White, Old Olive

Inks: Ruby Red, Basic Black, Old Olive, More Mustard, Really Rust, Creamy Caramel

Other: Cuttlebug Script and Tiny Bubbles embossing folders, Corner punch, 1/16" hole punch, Sponges, White gel pen, Dimensionals, Lg. oval punch, Sm. oval punch, Black zigzag ribbon, Silver mini brads

Friday, September 12, 2008

Making solid stamps stamp better

Sometimes those solid (shadow) stamps are a pain to get inked up properly, aren't they? They have blotchy spots or un-inked places and all. Well, it may be that you need to condition your stamps first. I learned these things years ago, but it never hurts to be reminded.

On the Our Daily Bread Designs site they have the info you need to get those stamps ready for some serious stamping. Info care of Pat Huntoon, the Technique Junkie. ;)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Autumn Morning

Are you ready for Autumn to get here?? I sure am! To me, the quintessential Autumn stamp set is SU's Lovely Leaves. I was honestly shocked when Stampin' Up retired it. I couldn't believe they'd get rid of such a classic set so quickly. I mean good grief, they still have Lovely As a Tree!!! This set surely is as good, I say. I hope to bring it out to play with numerous times over the next couple of months. So I hope you like it, too. You can see samples of cards done using that set here and here. As you can see, a very versatile set.

To make this card I began by creating a black base. I used Pumpkin Pie as the card's main color. I stamped several leaves from Lovely Leaves in Basic Black and the leaf outline stamps from the set with Ruby Red. I ran it through the Cuttlebug (twice, due to size) using the Mesh embossing folder. Then I rubbed Vintage Photo distress ink all over it.

For the sentiment area I stamped the Wordsworth "O Good" stamp in Basic Black. After it thoroughly dried, I sponged and rubbed various inks (listed below) over it. (Clarification: I actually rubbed some of the ink pads themselves right on the cs - also, I forgot to mention that the sentiment cs piece was white cs. Sorry for the omission.) I adhered it to the black cs after I did the edge of the black with the Martha Stewart Embossed Zigzag punch.

To get it to fit right I made sure the sides of the black were right with the sentiment piece and made the length longer than I needed it to be. Then I used the punch. I positioned the sentiment piece on the black near the punched edge and marked on the top (above the sentiment) where to cut. Then I trimmed it and adhered the sentiment to it. I added antique brass eyelets using the Crop-a-Dile. Once I did all of that I used a straight pin and the Mat Pack cushion and added holes around the sentiment on the black.

I added the zigzag ribbon and then adhered the sentiment using Dimensionals to pop it up.

Inside the card I cut 2 pieces of Pumpkin Pie cs to fit each panel and paper-pierced the edges with the straight pin and did some fancy paper piercing in the corners. I stamped a leaf from Lovely Leaves in Pumpkin Pie ink on the panels. I accidentally got a bit of black ink smudged on one panel, so I sponged both with Basic Black a bit to blend in my mistake. You'd never know I goofed! ;)

I wanted to mention something that worked for me in trying to line up my holes neatly when paper piercing. I just tried this so it's a new idea to me. You all may have already figured it out:

To keep the lines straight (I have the Mat Pack template, but find it hard to work with until I get a proper piercing tool - on my list!) I used the edge of one of my Stamp-a-ma-jig sheets and held it in place while I paper pierced freehand along its edge. It worked very well, I must say. A good "get by" tip for those who've not bought the Mat Pack from SU or a proper piercing tool. first Autumn card of 2008. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks for looking!

Stamps: SU Lovely Leaves, "O Good" by Wordsworth

CS: Black, Pumpkin Pie, White

Inks: Basic Black, Ruby Red, Pumpkin Pie, Real Red, More Mustard, Summer Sun, Tim Holtz Vintage Photo distress ink

Other: Cuttlebug Mesh embossing folder, Martha Stewart Embossed Zigzag punch, Sponges, Antique brass eyelets, Crop-a-Dile (for eyelets), Straight pin, Mat pack cushion, Dimensionals, Zigzag ribbon

Paper piercing circle templates and a possible lead on a few piercing tools

Sharon Harnist over at Paperfections has some great ideas she's sharing that she learned from Judy Morrow about how to paper pierce a circle without losing your mind. Of course, I've been staying sane by doing mine freehand. But had I been using the template from SU's Mat Pack I would've gone over the edge by now.

Check out this discussion on SCS about piercing tools. Lots of great ideas!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Still not stamping...

...gotta get all the patches sewn on my hubby's and son's scout uniforms (they just got the new Centennial version) and hem their pants today, so not sure stamping will be on my agenda. The desire to stamp is!

Anywhoooo, even though I don't have anything to show you, I MUST send you over to Jenn's blog so you can drool over her most recent creation. It is totally cu-whoooo-te!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

For You Floral

This will be known as my Hurricane Gustav card. I spent all day yesterday watching and listening to a Louisiana broadcast online of the coming hurricane while I was stamping (still watching). I had a hard time focusing on this card as my mother-in-law and brother-in-law are in Louisiana weathering the storm (they're doing fine, though). So please forgive its imperfections. My mind was quite distracted, but I needed to do something with myself. So I stamped, of course.

I began with a black cs base, but the Mellow Moss cs is where the card opens. I stamped the SU Hand Stitched background stamp in VersaMark ink on the Mellow Moss. After stamping the "For You" sentiment in Basic Black ink on Real Red, I ran it through the Cuttlebug using the Swiss Dots folder.

I punched the edges on the floral Anna Griffin paper and the black with the Martha Stewart Doily Lace punch and ran the floral paper through the Cuttlebug using the Traffic Jam folder. I was careful to line it up above the lacy edge. I used Dimensionals between the floral and the black and the red. Probably too many Dimensionals! lol

I used the Crop-a-Dile to punch the holes and set the eyelets. That was a bit tricky and they aren't lined up perfectly. I added the plaid ribbon and adhered the whole mess to the Mellow Moss cs.

For the girl, I stamped her in Basic Black ink on Vanilla cs. Using a water brush, I painted her dress with Ruby Red ink, going over it several times in some places to add depth. I used a white gel pen to whiten her collar, sash and sleeve edge. I used Mellow Moss and So Saffron inks to paint the grass. The flowers and butterflies are in So Saffron (marker). I used the Blush Blossom marker to paint her skin and Close to Cocoa to do the tiny bit of her hair.

I ran the girl piece through the Cuttlebug using a plain oval Nestie. Then I dry embossed the edge. I ran the black cs through using a scallop Nestie. I paper pierced the black scallop using a straight pin and the mat pack cushion after attaching the girl piece with Dimensionals (I find it easier to paper pierce the scallops that way).

Close-up of paper piercing:

Thanks for looking! Be safe if you're in this hurricane or are waiting it out elsewhere. God be with you!

Stamps: SU Hand Stitched, SU Summer By the Sea, CTMH Spunky Greetings

CS: Black, Mellow Moss, Real Red, Anna Griffin floral (AG 024), Vanilla

Inks: VersaMark, Basic Black, Ruby Red, Mellow Moss, So Saffron

Other: Cuttlebug Traffic Jam and Swiss Dots embossing folders, Martha Stewart "Doily Lace" punch, Oval plain and scallop Nestabilities, Crop-a-Dile, Black eyelets, Dimensionals, Water brush, Plaid ribbon, Straight pin, Mat pack cushion, Blush Blossom marker, Close to Cocoa marker, So Saffron marker, White gel pen