Friday, September 30, 2016

SK September: Sweet Thoughts

I really liked Amelia's sweet design in The Greeting Farm's (OA) Journey stamp, so I decided to play with it again. This time, I went for a more neutral color scheme with bright red and yellow as accent colors.

I wanted to make this card look different, so I played with layers. I layered a vellum tag with a sentiment from Power Poppy's Farmer Market stamp, then set it against a neutral die-cut frame. I added Amelia with foam squares.

It felt like the card was missing a little something, so I added a couple of Prima paper flowers and a metal brad from my stash.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

SK September: OA Birthday

For this card, I also used The Greeting Farm's (OA) Journey stamp, but I featured Oliver. I colored him in more earth tones, especially making use of my olive greens (colors I rarely remember to reach for). I wanted to add a different sentiment for this card, so I used the birthday sentiment from MFT's Birthday Bears.

By embossing the sentiment onto some black cardstock, I got a label-like look without having to buy any extra tools or supplies.

A few enamel dots tie this card together.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SK September: Homemade with Love

When I started creating this card with Penny Black's Homemade stamp set, I had something completely different in mind. I stamped and colored the image to match a patterned paper that featured strawberries and vines. But as I was trying to put the image against the paper, I kept feeling like it was getting lost in the whimsical strawberry chaos.

So, I took a step back and thought about what I should do to make this card stand out. I cut the image into a rectangle and matted it with a piece of dark brown cardstock. I stamped the sentiment in the same dark brown shade, then die-cut it into a rectangle.

I played around with some other paper, die-cuts and shapes, but in the end... I just liked the simplicity and the contrast of the image and the sentiment by themselves. So, I adhered them to a white card base with foam tape and left it as a CAS creation.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

SK September - Lovely Day

First, let me just say that I had an absolute world of trouble trying to upload this card to the blog. It kept giving me issues - to the point I considered excluding it from the lineup entirely. But I persisted, and it finally went through.

This card features The Greeting Farm's Anya's Day Out stamp. This stamp was a part of their secret stamp club some time ago, and I featured it in another autumn-inspired card. I went with a different approach and used bright orange and blue for Anya's outfit this time around. The complementary colors gave the image a great contrast, and it fit nicely with the rest of my card.

The sentiment is a gold rub-on I found in my stash. I thought it went great with Anya's stamp, and I added a piece of flair as an extra embellishment.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 26, 2016

SK September - Can't Bear

Continuing on with the Stash Kit cards, this time I'm featuring The Greeting Farm's (OA) Journey stamp set. This stamp series features Oliver and Amelia, and in Journey, they're ready for a trip of a lifetime. What drew me to this set for September is how autumnal their outfits looked.

For today's card, I used a combination of earthy and bright colors to make the image pop. I set it against a neutral gray background with a polka-dot stripe. The sentiment is from My Favorite Things' Birthday Bears stamp set - I thought it was especially poignant because Amelia is holding a bear.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Chatty Sunday: Adhesive

Since adhesive/adhesive refills is the only thing I'm shopping for in the next few months, I thought I'd have a chatty discussion about adhesive. Adhesive tends to be tricky, because it feels like every paper-crafter has their own personal favorite. It doesn't help that sometimes what glue is best depends on the project itself. So, I thought I'd share my personal go-to adhesive and what I use them for.

To start with, I wanted to give my criteria for buying adhesive:
1) It has to come from a known company, preferably one that has been in business for a while.
I don't want to get attached to a supply only to find out it's no longer available.
2) It has to have multiple places to buy refills from, preferably in bulk.
If I'm on a total spending freeze, I need to be able to buy several months' worth of refills at once. So, an adhesive that has 4 refills in stock is not the best.
3) It has to be easy to use and easy to refill.
I don't want to waste any adhesive because the refill is fiddly or loaded incorrectly.
4) It has to be economical.
I'm ok with paying extra for quality, but I don't want to break the bank either. I would also like to see the adhesive occasionally on sale so I can stock up.

So, here is my current list of most-used adhesives. I've got a few more adhesives, but they are either things I've bought on sale before I settled on these adhesives, or they're very, very seldom used.

Everyday use:
Tombow Mono Dot Runner (pink)
This adhesive is small, portable and has a pack of 3 refills for a good price (often on sale) through Amazon. It's easy to load, and it's permanent after a while. Because of the dot dispensing, you can rub away any stray adhesive easily, and you can also gently peel up and re-position paper just after placing it down (the glue does become permanent after a short while, though).

Plus Dot Adhesive (pink)
It's fairly identical to the Tombow Mono adhesive, just by a different company - something I wanted just in case Tombow discontinued or changed their mono adhesives. I buy my refills in bulk through Office Supply - which has good prices, though it can be a little slow on processing and shipping.

Bulk Card use:
Scotch ATG (pink)
This is a great adhesive, and a favorite to many crafters. The refills last a long time and can be very affordable. I purchase general refills through Amazon, but there are even cheaper options available out there (I've seen Tape Depot mentioned a lot). This is what I use when I have to make a lot of cards at once or do a lot of assembly-style adhering.

Scotch Foam Tape
Like many crafters, I like this big roll of permanent mounting foam tape from Scotch. It's not too thick, it lasts for ages and it can be cut to size that fits virtually any product. It's great for general dimension, and it works perfectly on shaker cards. I buy one roll every 6-8 months, and I use it a lot.

Liquid Adhesive:
Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Adhesive
I don't use liquid adhesive often, but this is my go-to adhesive if I need a really strong bond. I use it to adhere things like bits of ribbon or bow on cards, delicate die-cuts or embellishment elements and it works just fine to glue panels together in a pinch.

Ranger Studio Multi Matte Medium

This is what I use for sequins or other small embellishments. This glue dries absolutely clear and matte, so if a little oozes out, I'm not worried I'll have a shiny or discolored spot on my card. I also use a precision applicator top with it for very precise dispensing.

Heavy Adhesive (For cardstock boxes):
ScorPal tape

I have a couple of widths (¼ and ½"), and I really enjoy using them. This is a very strong clear adhesive, that is thin (so it lets your boxes be flat) and easy to use.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Stash Kit: October

We're inching toward the end of September, so I thought I would share my stash kit for October. The kit is themed for Halloween, as I'd like to create a gift set of Halloween cards for a friend who throws a pretty major spooky bash party every year.

Rubber Stamps:
Kraftin' Kimmie - My Best Friends Are Witches
Kraftin' Kimmie - Batty and Catty
C.C. Designs - Broom Ride (Roberto's Rascals)

Patterned Paper:
Doodlebug - Ghouls & Goodies 6x6

Photopolymer Stamps:
Mama Elephant - Meowlloween Extras
 My Favorite Things - (Birdie Brown) Witch Way is the Candy?
Lawn Fawn - Spooktacular

Nuvo Crystal Drops in Crushed Grape

Simon Says Stamp - Witches' Brew Sequins
 Doodlebug - Ghouls & Goodies Enamel Shapes

As with last time, I've added a combination of older and newer stamps. Some things are retired, others are available for purchase (I've added a link to those that are still available).

I will also be supplementing these with cardstock and dies from my stash.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 23, 2016

SK September: Rainy Thanks

For this Stash Kit creation, I'm back to using Mama Elephant's Chance of Rain. A surprising addition to this card is the felt cloud stickers from Pebbles. I think the embellishment itself is actually quite old - I happened to get it on sale somewhere a couple of years ago, and it was already a long-retired product. But felt seems to be trendy again, so those clouds are back in style.

Since the clouds added quite a bit of dimension, I decided to use the chunky wood veneer thanks from Lawn Fawn as my sentiment. I think this product is also retiring, but it's in stock (and on sale for 50% off!) on Lawn Fawn's webstore. I used the circle that was left over from the card I shared on Monday, and added some raindrops with Nuvo Crystal Drops.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

SK September: Hello Sparkle

For the fifth card in September's Stash Kit project, I went back to Lawn Fawn's Into the Woods stamp set. I remember that the deer in this set is a favorite for many of the stamp's owners, so I took extra care in coloring it. I used a little more blending than usual and made sure it was lined up well with the coordinating die when I cut it out.

I really liked this triangle background in the kit's paper pad, and I wanted to accent it with some sparkle. So, I added a strip of sparkly silver cardstock from My Favorite Things. I wanted to echo the geometric shape of the pattern, so I opted to use a hexagon STAX die from My Favorite Things (now retired). I added a hello sentiment and a couple enamel dots to round off the card.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SK September: Chance of Happy

For this stash kit share, I've got another card using Mama Elephant's Chance of Rain stamp set.

This time, I decided to go with a neutral striped background and a bright purple for a pop of color. I used a Wavy Scallop Stitches die from Simon Says Stamp to create an interesting edge and a circle die-cut to create a background for my focal image.

For this card, I tried a new product - Nuvo Crystal drops - to create some raindrops. I thought it turned out fantastic, and I loved how I could add tiniest of dots without worrying that they'd fall off. I also added a few white dots around the enamel dots I used by the sentiment.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

SK September: Weather Together

For today's card, I used Mama Elephant's Chance of Rain stamp, along with Lawn Fawn's Puffy Cloud Borders die and a handful of stitched dies.

When I saw the boy and girl faced each other in this stamp set, my first thought was to have them stand together and share the umbrella. Aside from being a cute visual, I thought this was a great way to highlight the encouraging sentiment from the set.

I used the striped blue paper as background because it looked a bit like rain. In addition, it contrasted wonderfully with the yellow color I chose for the raincoats and umbrella. I added a couple of yellow enamel dots to the bottom right corner of the panel, too, just to break up the neutral ground.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 19, 2016

SK September: Smile!

Lawn Fawn's Into the Woods was one of the stamps in September's Stash Kit, and I was really looking forward to using it. As one of the earliest Lawn Fawn stamps I bought, it's always been very special and dear to me. Though I've used it when it came out, I didn't pull it out nearly often enough after and that's something I wanted to change.

For this card, I chose to use the cute little fox and the "Smile" speech bubble. I stamped the speech bubble in bright green, and fussy-cut it with a small white border. I colored the fox in bright oranges, then I drew a small smile for him so that it matched the sentiment. I die-cut the image.

The rest of the card came together quickly, with a few dies, border dies and enamel dots to round off the design. I also hand-drew a dotty brown line just around the patterned paper to add an extra touch of brown.

I was pleased with how the card turned out, and how different the fox looks with a little smile. So, I jumped into creating another card with similar supplies.

Though the raccoon is adorable, I was not as thrilled with this card. I used a curved edge die for this card, along with a piece of flair, but I don't think the overall design grabbed me as well as the first card.

I took that as a sign that it was time to get to bed and look at the card in morning. It did seem much better then, so I counted it as a Stash card and decided to share.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Chatty Sunday: Planner

I think I've mentioned this before, but I am a planner at heart. I don't mean that I'm obsessed about planners (though I own a couple now), but that I seem to be at my most productive when things are planned out. To do lists and a clear plans of action keep me very motivated - which could explain why the Stash Kit project is going so swimmingly.

Regardless, I have come to embrace my planning ways and I got myself a new planner. Or I should say, a cute little Mead agenda. I bought it at Target during back-to-school shopping. Originally, I was going to use it for work, but it wasn't quite right for that. What it was perfect for was planning other life activities, such as my design team responsibilities. So, I jumped in head first and planned out not only my DT responsibilities, but also my blog posts for the next few weeks.

Since I have Stash Kit projects to share, I took the time to organize how I'm going to go about it - and I really like it! The plan gives me a chance to write some posts in advance, while still giving me the freedom to be impulsive and post on the go. My hope is that this new system will mean more regular updates and a balance between crafting and blogging.

Now we just need to see how it will do in action...

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 16, 2016

SOG - Foxy & Wizard

Today is the last day of Some Odd Girl digi release, and I've got 2 more cards to share!
Cat Wizard is just plain adorable. He reminds me of the adorable Bandit Wizard digi - which was one of the stamps I worked with when I first guest-designed with the Oddies. So, of course, it's with both excitement and nostalgia that I created this card.

I colored the cat orange, a nod to the little orange friend we had visiting at our front door just the other morning. A bit of purple for contrast and the image was ready!

I had a whole piece of dotty orange vellum left from the ghost card, so I decided to use it. I placed it over a subtle striped paper and it created a really fun and different texture.

For my last card, I went completely non-Halloween. This is both because I wanted to show that you could do something different with each stamp, and because I really wanted to use soft and subtle colors.

I was inspired by a white fennec fox, and decided to keep the fur very pale. I used the same tones for the outfit, going with a pale pink and a darker gray. I set everything against a stripy background and added a couple hearts.

My sentiment came from another word sticker sheet, and I though it went rather perfectly with an unusual fox lady image.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

SOG - Bunny Vamp & Bat

Day 4 of Oddie releases is here! Be sure to check out the Some Odd Girl blog for more fun inspiration.

I started by coloring in Bunny Vampire in rich and dark colors. I even gave him the famous widow's peak hairstyle! Once he was colored in, I knew I wanted to keep the rest of my card simple - just set him against the navy dark night.

So, I got creative with the rest of my card, and used the scripty sentiment from Frenchie Gwen. It means "Forever" in French, and it's just so perfect for a vampiric theme. I actually giggled imagining the bunny saying it with a slight lisp (you know, those big ol' teeth do get in the way of talking...). But I kept it as it was and still get a little giggle out of seeing it.

This bat card needs a bit of explanation... When I was young - I think I must have been 5 or 6 - we were visiting relatives and I wasn't feeling very well. I don't remember much about that trip, but I do recall laying down and watching a cartoon about a white bat having adventures. It was in a language I couldn't understand, so I don't even know what the show was. But that white bat stuck with me so much that I keep wanting to color my bats white. And with this gorgeous new digi from Kristy, I was able to!

Since it didn't scream Halloween, I went in a different direction with the rest of my card. I added a white starry sky and played with some circles layered together.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

SOG - Sorceress and Ghost

Day 3 of Some Odd Girl release brings us an adorable Sorceress in Training, and an equally cute masked Ghost.

One of my favorite things about Some Odd Girl stamps is how fun they look when they're colored in bright shades. They take on a whimsical cartoon-y look and they feel like they could pop straight off the page and into a children's movie or book. And this adorable sorceress is no exception! With her wide-eyed look of amazement, she was just perfect to color in with purples, pinks, yellows and teal.

For my background, I wanted to go with something fun and abstract, and that's where my huge stash of patterned paper came in handy. I found this mixed media background and loved how it made the sorceress pop.

I added a sentiment from Fairy Magic and a little chipboard heart.

The second digi released today is a cute little masked ghost. I love the idea of one creature being costumed as another, so this double-costume ghost is just adorable!

Since I kept the coloring monochromatic, I found a fun ghost paper to pair it with and added a bit of orange vellum to bring in more color. My sentiment was spelled out of whimsical foam alpha stickers, and I popped up the ghost on some foam squares.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

SOG - Shark & Dino

Shark Cat is another fab digi that was suggested to Kristy and everything about it is perfect - from the annoyed look on the poor cat's face to the floppy fins and teeth on the shark costume. If you haven't seen the glorious shark cat videos, you ought to. Sittin' on a roomba, this awesome cat is a force to be reckoned with!

I didn't have a roomba for my card, but I did have the fabulous sentiment from Steampunk Kaylee that seemed to fit just perfectly. A lime ribbon, a doodad and some enamel dots got it all wrapped up.

T-Rex Dog digi is another new release and a perfect companion to our costumed feline. My favorite part of this stamp is the little paws. So cute!

For this card, I played with stripes and some sparkly sequins. I picked my sentiment from a die and a sticker - don't they go so well together?

Be sure to check Some Odd Girl's blog for more amazing inspiration!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 12, 2016

SOG - Voodoo Lady

It's digi release week for Some Odd Girl, and that means you'll be seeing some awesome new cards on my blog and the rest of the DT girls' blogs all week long! If you'd like to see more, head over to Some Odd Girl blog and hop along with us! :)

Voodoo Lady was a stamp I requested, and I admit that I squealed a little when I saw the finished result. Of course, we know Kristy is awesome and beyond talented, but I really think she outdid herself with this awesome stamp. Not only is it a fun and different image, but the level of detail is plain amazing.

For my colors, I chose purples for her skin with some red accents (her tattoos and eyes). The rest of the palette was more earthy - olive greens and tans. I loosely based my coloring on some video game and fantasy book/comic book characters, but I think I gave her enough of a flair to be completely different and unique.

I spent ages on figuring out the background, but finally went with a black and a pink- as they both had the kind of texture that fit the image. I found a couple of fun stickers in my stash and used them for my sentiment. A few enamel dots to echo that red orb, and it's complete!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Chatty Sunday: September chit-chat and plans

I may have mentioned this before, but autumn is my favorite season. I love the cooler weather - with no bugs, no pollen and with rainy days. I love the way the leaves change color, and how they become brilliant yellow, red and earthy brown. And I love all the activities - from visiting the apple orchards and pumpkin patches to jumping into leaf piles and taking walks in the crisp air. I always feel like it's a celebration of nature, as if there's a royal ball coming up.

Plus, the cooler weather makes it perfect to go back to baking delicious goodies - like cakes, cookies and yummy loafs of bread. I'm going to be trying to bake once or twice per week from September on. Not only do I love to bake, but I've got quite a few ingredients sitting in the pantry, waiting to be used up. I'm especially looking forward to making a bacon and cheese quiche, and trying bierocks.

So, what's on the docket for the rest of September?

Well, next week is Some Odd Girl digi release- which means you will be treated to an entire week of fun and exciting projects. There's a lot of fabulous new stamps in the release, and I helped pitch a few of the ideas - so, I'm even more excited to share the inspiration with you. And having caught a little peek at how amazing the rest of the creations from my fellow designers are... Let me just say, it will be a truly fun event.

I'm still working on my stash kit cards. I've actually got quite a few of them completed, using up supplies and really letting the stamps shine. I've still got a few images to color, but I'm confident that I will be hitting my 12-card goal before the end of the month. I'm already more than half-way there, and I will continue to work on things as I get some free time.

Speaking of free time... It feels like it's a rare commodity nowadays. I find myself in that zone where I suddenly have a free moment, but there's so much I want to do that I can't decide and I just end up watching random Youtube videos. And while it's entertaining and I've learned some awesome new card-making techniques, it's not exactly productive. So, I'm going to try putting myself on a schedule of some sort. Maybe having an evening dedicated to crafting or an evening dedicated to art will help me stay focused better.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Stash Kit - KKS Love Bug!

Just a couple of posts ago, I shared my September Stash Kit- where I chose a selection of supplies to use for cards throughout the month. I've taken a couple of weeks to make some cards, and now it's time to start sharing them!

For today's card, I used Let the Good Times Roll stamp set from Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps. I also used the sketch that was provided for the month of August.

To make my card a bit more interesting, I angled the patterned paper and die-cut it with a stitched rectangle die. I think this added a bit of extra interest to the background and kept it from looking too straight.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Power Poppy - Heads up!

It's time to dust off the blog and start sharing cards again. Over the past few weeks, I've been busy with a combination of things -- cleaning and re-organizing my crafty area, working (a lot) and spending time with family. In addition, I've been busy getting crafty - working on my stash kit projects. I hope to have some goodies to share from that very soon.

In early August, we had a new farmers' market open in our area. It's closer to our home, which means we're heading to it more often. There's something grounding and wonderful about buying local produce, not to mention how awesome it is on the wallet! We've enjoyed a plethora of good, fresh fruit and veggies, and I hope we can keep it up into the fall.

I bought Power Poppy's Farmers Market stamp some time ago because I loved the apple crate image. It's been sitting in my stash since, but the recent trip to the local market inspired me to pull it out and get inky. I also had fun die-cutting elements to layer, and I set everything against a neutral gingham pattern.

Thanks for reading!