Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lawn Fawn: Whale Love

I found just enough time to make one last card for the year! And, of course, I just had to use the super adorable Lawn Fawn mini stamp set Whale You Be Mine. This cute mini set also has matching dies, which I used to cut out the whales and the dotted water spouts.

I started by stamping the whales and the spouts in Steel Blue hybrid ink. This ink is a soft gray color, and I thought it matched up great with the other colors I chose for the card. Once the whales were stamped out, I colored them with Copics, using just a couple of colors for each of them. I went with a cool gray and peachy pink, and added just a touch of color to the water spouts too. I die-cut them with their matching dies and set them aside.

While I had my Bigshot out, I grabbed the smaller of the Stitched Party Banners dies and die-cut a 4x6 journaling card that happened to have the perfect teal stripes. I also cut a circle from a piece of patterned paper that had a subtle wave pattern. I tied a piece of pale pink satin ribbon around the top of the stitched banner.

For the card base, I created a standard top-folding A2 card base (4 1/4 by 5 1/2") out of medium grey cardstock. I matted it with a piece of patterned paper (measuring 4 x 5 1/4")from Let's Polka petite paper pad. I adhered all the elements using a combination of foam tape and standard adhesive.

For the sentiment, I cut a piece of white cardstock to measure 3/4 by 3 1/2" and stamped the sentiment from Whale You Be Mine in the same steel blue ink. I adhered it to the bottom of the card.

As a last touch, I grabbed a small dark pink heard I'd cut for a previous card and adhered it just over the whales.

Lawn Fawn - Whale You Be Mine stamp set
Lawn Fawn - Whale You Be Mine dies
Lawn Fawn - Stitched Party Banners dies
Lawn Fawn - Let's Polka Petite 6x6 patterned paper pad
My Favorite Things Hybrid Ink in Steel Blue
Simon Says Stamp Heavyweight Cardstock in Smoke Grey
Stampin' Up Project Life - Everyday Adventure 4x6 journaling card
Pink Ribbon, 3/8", satin
Copics (C2, C4, R11, R85, 0)
3M Double-sided Foam Tape
Tombow Craft Dot Adhesive Runner (pink)
Pink heart

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014- Some Highlights

As the year draws to a close, I thought I'd take the opportunity and reflect on some of my creative endeavors, as well as highlight a few projects I loved. But before I begin, let me just say that it was outright impossible to pick my top favorite cards. I love (nearly) every card I create, and there are just too many of them to put in one post. So, I chose just a few that caught my eye...

Let's start with this card:
You can read the details of this card here, but it's one of the cards I had tremendous fun creating. Not only did it have a fabulous concept (patterned paper sea), but it ended up winning a challenge and a free stamp set. The theme is nautical -- something I am constantly drawn to, especially when it has stripes and fresh colors.

Next is this card:
This was my first experience as a guest with a design team, and it was really enlightening. I got to see some of the planning that goes into releases and DT work, and it's very interesting - echoing a bit to my work, where so much is done behind the scenes that most people aren't truly aware of the effort that goes into it. I now have a new-found appreciation for the amount of work that's put into all of those DT samples - especially when they're made to look completely effortless.

Then, this card:
This was the first card I made with myself in mind. I normally make cards based on what I think the recipient would enjoy, or with a specific color/technique/etc in mind. So, this card is different because it has my own aesthetics and preferences in mind -- the retro feel and the stamp style are all me, and no one else.

And, lastly, this card:
Read about it here. This is one of my most-pinned cards, and a really great one at that. This is one of the cards that started my Stamp Trio challenge and really helped me focus on what I wanted to do in terms of cards. As cards go, it's got some of my very favorite elements (polka dots, Copic coloring, cute stamp and ribbon), and I still think it's fabulous 6 months later.

So, there you have it! A few of my cards from 2014, and also my 200th blog post. It was near impossible to choose just a few cards to highlight, and I hope you'll take a stroll through the blog to see some of my other creations.

Here's to a great new year and many more creative sparks! :D

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Monster Love

 Jumping back into that perfect creative zone was a little more challenging than I thought it would be. Although I've focused almost entirely on work, holidays and family over the past few weeks, I had so many creative ideas brewing in the corners of my brain. I thought that getting back into card-making was going to be a breeze, and then I sat down to create...

It felt a little bit like sitting on a bicycle after not riding for years. In theory, you know how to ride, but there's that initial wobble and tipping that makes you second-guess your ability. And that's exactly how it was with cards. Those brilliant ideas were still there and I've still got all of my skill and mastery of different techniques. Yet, I kept second-guessing every creative decision and over-analyzing everything from placement to stamp choice, color combination and more.

This eventually led to me hating the cards so much that I threw two of them straight into the trash bin and started over. The card you see above is my third attempt, and one I'm much happier with. Why do I mention all of this? All too often, we get hit by creative blocks, with being too harsh with ourselves and with feeling that other people seem to just have it together all the time. Then to top it off, we feel like we're the only ones to feel this way. Well, I want to be candid and say that I struggled with this card and that it took extra work to create something I liked. And that's just the reality that happens to all of us. Sometimes cards come easy, other times we just can't seem to pull it together. The important thing is to keep trying and creating until we create something we are happy with. :)

Now onto this card, itself...

I started by creating a standard A2 card base (4 1/4 by 5 1/2) out of Navy cardstock.

I cut a piece of Fog cardstock to measure 4 by 5 1/4". I grabbed the coordinating Fog ink and inked up Wide Stripes background stamp. This gave a subtle tone-on-tone background to the front panel. Simon Says Stamp dye ink is the same formula as the Hero Arts shadow inks - where it will initially stamp splotchy, but even out over time as the ink soaks into the cardstock. So, I set the panel aside to dry and got to work on the rest of the card.

I stamped the adorable big-eyed monster from Monster Hugs and stamped him onto some marker paper. I wanted the monster to look really subtle, so I used the Steel Blue hybrid ink. I quickly colored him in with my Copics, using only one or two colors to show some minimal shading. Although this stamp set has coordinating dies, I did not purchase them, so I cut the monster out using a sharp pair of scissors.

I wanted to add some color, so I die-cut a stitched flag shape out of a Kaisercraft Sprinkles journaling card. While I had my Bigshot out, I also cut a stitched circle out of Mint cardstock, the word "love" and a small heart out of cotton candy cardstock and a slightly larger heart out of doll pink cardstock.

I adhered all the elements using a combination of my standard adhesive and foam squares.

As a last touch, I added a few white enamel dots around the front.

Since the theme of this card is Love, I'm entering it in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Work It challenge.

Simon Says Stamp - Monster Hugs stamp set
Mama Elephant - Type It dies
Simon Says Stamp - Large Holiday Shapes dies
My Favorite Things - Stitched Flag STAX and Stitched Circle STAX dies
My Favorite Things Hybrid Ink in Steel Blue
Simon Says Stamp Dye Inkpad in Fog
Simon Says Stamp Heavyweight Cardstock in Soft Navy, Fog, Mint, Cotton Candy and Doll Pink
Copics (E33, E17, C2, C4, R20, BG18)
Kaisercraft Sprinkles 4x6 Journaling Cards
My Mind's Eye Charmed enamel dots (white)
Scrapbook Adhesives 3D foam squares
Tombow Craft Adhesive Runner (pink)
EK Success Honey Bee scissors

Friday, December 26, 2014

Party Dress Gwen

Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you all had a really wonderful time this holiday season, and got a chance to celebrate and enjoy your family and friends. My holiday season was rather busy this year, but things are finally slowing down enough for me to get back into the crafty groove.

For this card, I grabbed Some Odd Girl's Party Girl Gwen stamp set. I stamped Gwen in chocolate brown hybrid ink, and colored her in with my Copics. I went for a purple and peach color combination for her dress, and then added a few polka-dots with a white gel pen.I also gave her eyes a subtle hint of make-up with the BV11 and BV13 Copics.

After Gwen was colored in, I carefully cut around her with a pair of scissors and set her aside to work on the rest of the card.

I tend to almost always use a standard A2 (4 1/4 by 5 1/2") card size, so I thought I'd ho with something slightly different this time around and I cut a piece of Cashmere cardstock to measure 4 1/4 by 8 1/2" - which folded into a square 4 1/2 by 4 1/2" card. This cardstock has a slightly peachy undertone, which went perfectly with the rest of the tones on the card.

I used Bo Bunny's Modern Miss patterned paper for the background. I chose a dark wood-grain as a matting piece, and the lovely orange/red gradient with subtle glow elements as the main background. I adhered the patterned paper to the card front, then adhered Gwen with foam squares.

Lastly, I scattered a few rhinestones and pearls around the card to finish everything off.

Some Odd Girl - Party Girl Gwen stamp 
MFT Hybrid Inkpad in Chocolate Brown
WPlus9 Cashmere Cardstock
Bo Bunny Modern Miss 6x6 patterned paper
Bo Bunny Double-Dot Jewels in Citrus
Stampin' Up Pearls
Copics (E00, E11, E13, E15, R20, V12, V06, V17, BG32, BG18, E23, E57, E59, E79, YR82, Y38, E33, R22, R32, R24, BV11, BV13)
Sakura Gellyroll white gel pen
Scrapbook Adhesives 3D Foam Squares

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Beanie Ian - Merriest Christmas

I'm still in the midst of my so-busy-it-hurts time, but I did recently sneak a tiny opportunity to do a little Copic coloring and make a quick card out of it. This card is going to be making its way to a special teacher, along with a small box of chocolate truffles.

I started by stamping The Greeting Farm's exclusive Beanie Ian stamp onto some Copic marker paper, using chocolate brown ink. I colored him in with Copic, going for a mix of classic Christmas colors (red, white, green) and adding a touch of frosty blue. After he was colored in, I added a few details with a white gel pen and carefully cut around him using sharp scissors.

For the card base, I grabbed one of Lawn Fawn's Navy Notecards. What's great about these notecards is that they're a 4-bar size -which is smaller than your standard card, and makes it easier to whip something up quick. And (this is my favorite part) you can use a journaling card to quickly add in a patterned paper background. This means less measuring, less cutting and making good use of the mountains of journaling cards I seem to have accumulated.

I used one of the cards from the Kaisercraft Peppermint Swirl 3x4 journaling card pack, and adhered it straight onto the base. I added Ian on some foam squares.

For the sentiment, I used the Simon Says Stamp Holiday Labels stamp set. This is a slightly older set, but it was new to me this year and I thought it had several fun shapes and sentiments. I used several ink colors to stamp the hexagon border, the sentiment and the little heart. Holiday Labels has a set of coordinating dies, but since the shape is so simple, I just cut it out with my scissors.

I added some silver cord behind the hexagon, all bunched up in a messy way, then adhered the panel to the card front. Lastly, I added 3 enamel dots to the bottom left corner.

The Greeting Farm - Beanie Ian stamp
Simon Says Stamp - Holiday Labels stamp
My Favorite Things Hybrid Ink - Chocolate Brown
Stampin' Up Classic Inkpad - Marina Mist and Baked Brown Sugar
Hero Arts Shadow Ink - Soft Cantaloupe
Copic Mini Marker Pad in 70lbs
Lawn Fawn Notecards - Navy
Kaisercraft 3x4 Journaling Cards - Peppermint Swirl
Copic Sketch markers
Studio Calico Enamel Dots - Blues

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Update and crafty chat

You may have noticed that there haven't been very many cards lately. And I'm very sorry about that! I've been very busy at work, and it's left me with virtually no time for anything else. I have one more week to go, and then I get a week off to spend time with my family. I'm hoping to go back to a semblance of a regular posting schedule after that.

Even though I haven't done anything particularly crafty lately, I've still been in a bit of a "craft" mindset/mode. So, I did some more planning out on what I'd like to do after the holidays. I actually got this big elaborate plan in my notebook about what to do on a week per week basis, and a ton of fun and exciting new series. I don't know whether I'll be able to keep up with it all, but it was fun to plan.

I've also bought a few supplies to try out new techniques. I got some stencils and some texture paste, and I'm curious to see the kind of thing I can make with them. During the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, I also got some Tombow markers and some Peerless Watercolor sheets. So, I'm very excited to play more with watercolor.

I've started organizing my patterned paper towers. I just love patterned paper, and I have collected a huge variety of it now - something for every occasion. However, I often find myself "saving" the favorites and not using them. But, as I remind myself, they were bought to be used not to collect dust in a closet. So, I'm going to make an effort to create extra things with patterned paper. And maybe get away from only using it as a 4 x 5 1/4" mat.

Lastly, I'm going to be starting a personal challenge for the next year. It will be a 100-card challenge based on a list of words (some of the words are concepts or ideas, others are objects and colors). I'll post the list of words and the details of the challenge very soon. I hope you'll join me. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

SSS-Flickr Challenge 7

Another quick card post from me. I'm still in the thick of the chaos of the holidays, work and other life things, so I have not had much time to get crafty.

I happened to notice the new Simon Says Stamp Flickr challenge #7 was about stencils, and I've been really itching to try some of the new goodies I got from them. So, I put together this wintery thank-you card.

I used Medium Dot stencil and some Broken China distress ink to create a dotty background on the front panel. I also used Ring Frame wafer die and some cardstock to create a colorful card front.

The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp's Greetings and Succulents stamp set.

Lastly, I added a few sparkling clear sequins to a few of the rings.

Simon Says Stamp Medium Dot stencil
Simon Says Stamp Ring Frame wafer die
Simon Says Stamp Greetings and Succulents
Simon Says Stamp heavyweight cardstock in Sea Glass, Smoke and Soft Navy
Neenah Desert Storm Environmental cardstock in 100#lbs
Neenah Solar White cardstock in 80#lbs
Ranger Distress inkpad in Broken China
Tsukineko Versafine ink in Onyx Black
Pretty Pink Posh Clear Sparkling sequins in 4mm and 6mm
Ranger Studio Multi-Matte glue
3M Double-sided Foam Tape