Friday, December 18, 2009

Embossed Shimmer Snowman

This card employs a technique called Embossed Shimmer. The technique was one of the Technique Lover's Challenges and you can find the directions here: Embossed Shimmer

In a nutshell, basically you smoosh Lumiere paint and ink around on one side of acetate, wait for it to dry, then run it through an embossing folder, and what you end up with is this wonderfully shimmery, shiny piece of acetate. The paint/ink side of the acetate goes face down, so you are left with the nice shiny side facing out. I love this technique. It's very easy, and except for the waiting time, doesn't take very long either. It's also very impressive!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Limited Supply RAK Challenge

The limited supply challenge today was to make a Christmas card and send it as a random act of kindness to someone. I chose to send it to a little boy who is dying of cancer and will not live until Christmas. He is 5 and his name is Noah. His family is having an early Christmas and his one wish is to get lots of cards in the mail. They told us about his story on SCS today and I had a strong desire to make a special card just for him. I thought this stamp would bring a smile to his face because it always brings a smile to mine!
  • Paper: PTI White and Chocolate; SU Dusty Durango & Frosty Days
  • Stamps: House Mouse, Take a Bough (PTI)
  • Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
  • Accessories: 5/8" Grosgrain and Chocolate Pearls from Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts, Prismacolor Pencils and Gamsol, Art Deco Glistening Snow Writer, SU Glitter
If you want to send him a card, hand stamped or not, here is the address:

Noah Biorkman
1141 Fountain View Circle
South Lyon, MI48178

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's a Three Challenge Day!

This card is for the Embellish Magazine challenge, and also the SCS Sketch challenge for today.
  • Paper: Basic Grey Archaic; SU Cameo Coral, Mellow Moss, Whisper White, and Chocolate Chip
  • Stamps: Wise Owl (PTI), CHF background
  • Ink: Chocolate Chip, Memento Tuxedo Black
  • Accessories: Chocolate Brads, 7/8" Chocolate Organdy, Nestabilities, Sponge, Prismacolor Pencils & Gamsol
This card is for The Cat's Pajamas challenge this week. I used some Cuttlebug dies to cut the leaves out of a soda pop bottle! It was hard to photograph, and in person it's even more stunning.
  • Paper: SU Basic Black, Basic Grey Indian Summer
  • Stamps: PTI Mixed Messages
  • Ink: Basic Black
  • Accessories: Gold Cord, Gold Brad, Cuttlebug Dies, Soda Bottle
I need a thank-you card for our local firefighters who gave a tour of the firehouse to our Wolf Cub Scouts. Of course, since they are men, I didn't want to give them something feminine. I got this Firefighter Riley a while ago in anticipation of this event. It's hard to photograph the details....I added Crystal Effects to the water, and to simulate the reflective stripes on the uniform, I colored them first with Prismacolor Pencils and Gamsol, then with a Sakura Stardust pen. It looks soooo cool in person!
  • Paper: East Coast Prep, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White (all SU)
  • Stamps: Riley (Hanna Stamps), Much Appreciated (SU)
  • Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, SU Tempting Turquoise
  • Accessoried: Fire Engine Buttons, Prismacolor Pencils & Gamsol, 1/2" Circle Punch, Sakura Stardust Pen, Crystal Effects, Nestabilities

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Verve Monday Mojo and SCS Color Challenge

Two challenges with one card tonight. Time for a shaker card, I think. Shaker cards are irresistible! Nobody who sees one can keep themselves from picking it up and shaking it. We all turn into little kids around these things!

I turned Verve's bird into a Christmas Cardinal. I love these birdies that Julee designed. There are three sets with birds in them and they are all just adorable. This card is for two of this week's challenges. I'm a bit behind, so I'm playing catch up.
  • Paper: SU Basic Black, PTI White, The Story of Us (ATD)
  • Ink: SU Real Red
  • Stamps: Anniversary Birds (Verve), Take a Bough (PTI)
  • Accessories: Kaiser Rhinestones, 7/8" Satin Ribbon, window sheet, Nestabilities, microbeads and tiny star confetti

Cupcake Inspiration Challenge

Love this cupcake challenge! I love ladybugs, they just make me happy!!!

The sentiment is actually a straight stamp, but I made it wavy on the clear block before stamping. I did it partly to fit the space and partly because I didn't want to mess with placing it on the blog in a straight line. If in doubt, make it crooked on purpose!!

Card Deets:
  • Stamps: Little Lady (PTI)
  • Paper: SU Real Red, Basic Black, Whisper White, PTI patterned paper
  • Ink: Real Red, Basic Black
  • Accessories: SU corner punch, Angel's Landing piercing template, Polka Dot Grosgrain Ribbon

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Snowman Treat Box Tutorial

Sorry, snowman treat box pattern is out for publication.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

MTSC45 and The Cat's Pajamas Challenges

I don't have much time to type, I really need to be on the way out the door, but wanted to get these two cards posted.

The first card is for Mercy's Tuesday Sketch this week and for the Color Combo Sketch on SCS. Stamps are from Verve, striped organdy ribbon, button, and string are from Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts. Paper colors are Kraft, Black, and Melon Mambo.

This card is for The Cat's Pajamas color challenge this week, and for the CAS challenge on SCS. The CAS challenge was for ways to use brads. I put brads on the lowest snowflakes on the ornaments and next to the sentiment. The papers are Soft Sky, Basic Black, and Taken with Teal. Brads are made to match and available at Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts, as are the 1/8" organdy ribbons. Love those tiny ribbons for making tiny bows!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Advent Calendar Tutorial

I made some ornaments using tins last week, and for some reason this idea started developing in my head to use them on an advent calendar. I remembered a cheap silver metal pizza pan I had when we were in college. It was seriously a piece of junk, but it would be perfect for this project. Sadly, as soon as we had a decent income, the pizza pans went down the long road to the scrap heap. I set out on a quest yesterday to find some cheap pizza pans and it turned into a very long quest indeed. I thought the dollar store might be the perfect place to find one, but I was wrong. I hit every store there was along my route, and still had no luck until I went into Target.....Score!!! Lucky me.....and, the best part? They were only $!!!

A couple more notes: Some of the tin lids fit loosely, so when I fill the tins with candy, I plan to tape them shut until we open them. This project is also heavy, so it will require a sturdy picture hanger to hold it up, especially when it is filled with treats.

Here is the finished project. It's not the best photo, but the light is gloomy here in rainy Oregon, and it's hard to get a good daylight photo to avoid the flash glaring off of the pizza pan. This is the best I could do. I used the 2" tins for each of the first 24 days of Christmas and a 3" tin for Christmas morning.

I thought of many variations I could have used. I was tempted to cover the main part of the pan with patterned paper, but I would have to deal with a seam, which did not appeal to me. The pan is a 15" pizza pan, but is actually more than 15" across, so the flat bottom of the pan is larger than 12", which is the largest paper I have. I opted to stick with the silver, which is a nice finish anyway.

A photo of the pizza pan. It was in the baking section at Target. They only had 4 of them at the closest Target to me and of course I bought them all. So, if you live locally, don't bother going to the Target at Sunset Esplanade....LOL.

My sweetheart handy hubby was given the task of making holes in the pan. He headed out to his shop and this is what came back. I wanted the holes about 1/2" from the sloped side of the pan and about 1" apart. He said he just used a regular drill, and the holes were smooth enough that they did not snag the satin ribbon I later pulled through them.

Here is the layout I went with. I left a space at the top for a bow. There are 14 tins on the outer layer, 10 on the inner, with a space in the center for the large tin for Christmas day.

I did some testing to make sure my magnets would hold up the tins. I used these self-adhesive business card sized magnets. I normally use these to keep my Nesties in their CD cases, but it worked well for this project also.

I cut each magnet in eights and used that size for the small tins. I used half of a magnet for the large tin.

The bottom of a small tin with 1/8 of a magnet. Self-adhesive is a bonus!

I used Verve's Winter Wonder to stamp borders in three colors: Taken With Teal, Ballet Blue, and Lovely Lilac. I stamped 24 in all and then headed for the cuttlebug.

I die cut the frames into circles and made larger scalloped circles in shades of teal, blue, and purple to mat the white circles. I cut one larger circle to go under the large tin.

I stamped more borders in black onto cardstock in the same shades as my ink. I will use these circles to write Christmas activities for us to do each day as we open the tin.

Next, I cut circles small enough to fit inside the tins and stamped an assortment of Christmas images on each circle. I suppose I could have taken the time to find 24 different images, but since I was feeling a little lazy at this point, I used only 8 images, making 3 of each one. I may go back and change them so there is an "surprise" on each day, wondering what the picture in the bottom of the tin will be.

Images used are:

Next, I adhered the circles in the bottom of the tin. The main adhesive I used in the whole project is ATG. If you do not have an ATG, I would suggest using Sticky Strip or red line tape.

To tie the bow at the top, I threaded teal ribbon through both holes from the back, then tied a knot and left long tails. I then tied a bow using purple satin ribbon over the knot in the teal ribbon. This gave me two different colors of tails. I may actually make a big poofy bow with lots of loops, but since we are a house of boys, I thought putting this much ribbon on a project was already pushing it. LOL

I stamped the numbers (retired SU set called Newsprint Numbers) onto the circles and adhered the whole mess together, and the circles to the pizza pan using ATG. Once upon a time I was addicted to alphabet stamp sets, so I have bunches of them kicking around. I'm surprised at how often they come in handy. I started with the numbering at the top left and went around the outside counter clockwise, then did the inner circle clockwise, ending up back on the left side.

It was a little tricky coming up with a tiny tag for the numbering on the tins themselves. I tried so many things, but everything was just too large and hid the image in the tin by covering up too much of the front. Finally, my creaky old brain thought of using 1/2 of a Word Window Punch (SU). It was perfect! The numbers come from PTI's Ambassador Monogram Alphabet.

I tied a bunch of tiny bows using 3/8" polka dot organdy and 3/8" satin edge organdy in the three colors to match the project. I tied a piece of silver cord around the center knot, tying just once, then threaded the tag onto the cord and tied twice more, in a granny knot.

I wrote an activity on each of the inserts for the tins. I plan to put these in the tin, then the candies. When we open a tin, we'll eat the candy and do the activity sometime that day. Some activities are simple, some more complex, some are service, some are just fun. Here's my list (in no particular order...actually, in the order they occurred to me):
  1. Bake cookies
  2. Christmas tree hunt
  3. Decorate Christmas tree
  4. Take family photo
  5. Put up Christmas lights
  6. Take cookies to firemen
  7. Decorate the house
  8. Sing 12 Days of Christmas
  9. Start playing Christmas music (at my house, this has already begun, so I should have written "stop complaining about Mom playing Christmas music")
  10. Make ornaments
  11. Take cookies to neighbors
  12. Do a secret service for someone
  13. Decorate sugar cookies
  14. Make a gingerbread house
  15. Wrap family gifts
  16. Mail Christmas cards
  17. Buy gifts for charity
  18. Write letters to Santa
  19. Plan Christmas dinner
  20. Make a Christmas craft
  21. Read a Christmas story
  22. Hang stockings
  23. Sing carols
  24. Read "The Night Before Christmas" (obviously on Christmas Eve)
  25. Read Luke 2:1-14 (Christmas morning)
Another shot of the finished project.

Closeup of the rim. I thought the finished calendar was a bit plain, so I used nearly a whole jar of Aqua and Lavender buttons and hot glued them around the rim. It added a lot to the project and gave it some extra interest. It also burned the crud out of my fingertips!

Happy Stamping~~


Friday, October 23, 2009

A tag design I did for a customer who is a jewelry maker and wanting tags to tie to her creations with space inside to write information about the piece. Very simple design, computer generated business name, copper embossed moon (PTI Out on a Limb), then I dragged the edges in Versamark and embossed in copper for a rough look.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This first card is for the Embellish Magazine color challenge and the Sweet & Sassy Stamps sketch challenge.

One of the requirements of the sketch challenge was to use something recycled. I used a 2 liter soda bottle to cut out the snowflakes with a Cuttlebug die. I was surprised because the piece of the bottle was really curling and driving me crazy until I ran it through the machine. Something about the cutting process made the snowflakes lie flat! I love my clear snowflakes, and I think I'm going to try even more shapes cut from soda bottles. I think green bottles would also be a fabulous choice!

The colors were to be PTI's Raspberry Fizz, light pink, and a dark grey, plus you had to use bling! I added rhinestones to the snow lady's buttons and hat, plus the centers of the snowflakes.

I cut out a mask of the snowman and sponged in the sky using Bashful Blue ink. Afterwards, I added Fun Flock to the ground using a Quickie Glue Pen. I stamped snowflakes on the Basic Gray layer with Whisper White craft ink and then sponged the edges to soften it.
  • Paper: Raspberry Fizz and White (PTI), Basic Gray (SU)
  • Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Whisper White Craft, Versamark
  • Stamps: Made of Snow (PTI), Winter Wonder (Verve)
  • Accessories: Soda Bottle, Cuttlebug and Cuttlebug Dies, Hot Pink Kaiser Rhinestones, Copic Markers, Black Detail EP

I combined the color challenge with the technique challenge this week on Split Coast Stampers. The piercing comes from an Angel's Landing digital template. It's so great, you just print them over and over on copy paper or cardstock to use again and again. I only reprint a new one if the old one gets wrinkled or ink-stained. I stitched around the border of the large artichoke layer and on the back edge of the smaller artichoke layer. The edges of the main image panel are distressed and nearly everything is sponged!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Versamark Resist and Using Fabric on Cards

This card uses the Versamark Resist technique. To make the main image panel, I stamped acorns (Abundant Blessings by Verve) onto glossy cardstock using Versamark and let dry. Then I sponged More Mustard, Dusty Durango, and Bravo Burgundy ink over the acorns. The Versamark will resist the other colors of ink and remain white on the multicolored background. I also used this technique on the snowflake card below.

The layout for this card comes from Verve Visual's October release sketch challenge VSOCT09B. The colors in the card got inspiration from The Cat's Pajamas Tuesday Challenge.
Another Versamark resist card.
  • Paper: Designer Prints Pack (SU), Night of Navy, Whisper White, Glossy White
  • Ink: Versamark, Bashful Blue, Night of Navy,
  • Stamps: Verve Winter Wonder & Snow Wonderful
  • Accessories: 7/8" satin in navy ($.35/yd), 3/8" striped organdy in light blue ($.11/yd), Kaiser Rhinestones in dark blue and silver
I just found Mercy's blog today. I decided to participate in her sketch challenge. The main burgundy panel is stamped with the Aida Cloth background, then I cut a hole in it with a scalloped rectangle die. The printed background is actually fabric that I stitched onto the backside. The center poinsettia is popped up and all 3 flowers have gold glitter in the centers. The stamps are from Poinsettia Christmas by Verve.
I made this card to meet the requirements of two challenges today: Verve's Monday Mojo Sketch Challenge and the Creative Clear Stamps Elegance Challenge (Using only black, white, gray, and/or silver, with absolutely no other color).

The white background (Pretty Petals from SU) is stamped in Versamark and embossed using black embossing powder. The silver background and main image (Abundant Blessings by Verve) are also stamped in Versamark and embossed with black EP. The sentiment (Black Tie Birdies by Verve) is stamped with Versamark and embossed with silver detail powder. The rhinestones (black and silver) and black satin edge organdy with silver stripe are from Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts.

Monday, October 19, 2009

OK, this has to be one of my favorite cards ever! I was so crazy about the way it turned out, and I can't think of one single thing I would change about it. This kitty is one of my most beloved stamps, she's just sassy and cute, just purrfect!

I stamped the Geometric background stamp on a piece of Wintergreen (SU) DP in black ink. The "MEOWY" letters are from Retro Alphabet (SU); the "Christmas" is part of a sentiment from Wishes Awash (SU). The snowflakes stamped on the red background are from Snow Wonderful (Verve), the hat is from Holiday Sampler (SU), and the kitty, of course is from Cool Cat (SU). The kitty has Dazzling Diamond glitter on her collar and the white part of her hat.

People ask me all the time about my bows. This bow, which looks so "perfect" is actually a trick bow! I ran a piece of ribbon across the green panel and adhered to the backside, leaving just a touch of slack. I tied a piece of red burlap string around the straight piece of ribbon and snipped the ends super close to the knot. Then I tied the bow and stuck it on with a glue dot! It's so much easier to do it this way, and it looks like it was tied around the panel, plus it takes less ribbon!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Few More Ornament Samples

This one has embossed silver around the edges of the tag, navy organdy ribbon, and a layered snowflake with bling on the ornament front.

This one uses burgundy satin ribbon, and a snowflake with bling in the middle of it. The edges of the white tag are dragged in burgundy craft ink and embossed with iridescent ice EP.

This one has embossed "snow" around the edges of the tag, light blue satin ribbon, and a snowflake with bling on the ornament front.

This one uses our fabulous Puff Dotty Ribbon and has holly with rhinestone berries on the front of the ornament.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ornament Tutorial

I had an idea for an ornament a few years ago and made a bunch of them for my siblings using clear glass balls. This time around I'm using glass topped tins. They idea is this: A snowman kit, everything you need to build a snowman, snow, a scarf, arms, nose, buttons, eyes, mouth, and hat. The tag says "Snowman Kit Some Assembly Required". I love fun and clever ornaments and I was rather proud to think of one on my own!

Here is one that is finished. The bow is made from a fabulous ribbon we carry in our store. It's called "Puff Dotty" ribbon. We have both satin and grosgrain in 5 colors. There are puffed up dots of different sizes all along the length and width of the ribbon. It's an incredible ribbon and it's impossible to resist touching it when you see it!

OK, now for the tutorial: Step 1, gather the ingredients. I used 3" clear top tins.

For the "snow" inside the ornament, I like using these iridescent sprinkles. Last time I checked they were available from JoAnn. They're also really cheap, which is a plus. When I made the glass ball ornaments, I used snow that looked more like real snow. Over the years, the other kind of snow has made the inside of the balls a bit cloudy, which the iridescent snow does not seem to do.
Now, decide what you want your snowman parts to look like. This time around, I opted for stamped scarves. Last time, I used thin strips of plaid fabric, and even frayed the ends to make it look like a real scarf. The hats, noses, and arms are all from a Cuttlebug snowman die, "Snow Fun". To make the hat band, I cut a super thin (probably 1/16") strip of cardstock with a pair of scissors and glued it to the hat using a Quickie Glue Pen. The "mouths, eyes, and buttons" are just black beads. Last time I made noses from Fimo clay and baked them. This time....#1: no Fimo, #2: no desire to go get some, nor to make noses when I can just die cut them.

Next, cut a circle to fit inside the tin and adhere it to the bottom of the tin. I used the closest Nestabilities size that would fit in the tin. It doesn't matter if there is space around the edge because it will be covered by the rim of the top of the tin anyway. I would not suggest using a tin smaller than 2" because it will be too cramped inside and you will not have enough room to shake around the snowman pieces and snow.

Next, add your snowman pieces and snow. I suggest pouring a pile of snow into the tin, then put the lid on and see how it looks. You don't want too much, nor too little snow. I have found that about 1/2 full when tipped up on it's side is just about right. It's hard to gauge when the tin is laying flat.

Next, close the tin and cut a piece of patterned paper 3/4" wide and 9 1/2" long. I used Basic Grey's Eskimo Kisses paper here. It is only 6" long, so I had to cut two pieces. Put adhesive all over the back of the paper strip(s), and I do mean all over. You want a strong adhesive such as ATG or red line tape. You will be sorry if you try to use Mono adhesive. Cut a piece of sheer ribbon long enough to go around the tin with about 3 inches to spare. Determine which side of your ornament is the top. Some patterned papers don't have an "up" side, but if you scroll down to the last photo, you will see that I forgot to check this when making my first sample ornament. My patterned paper lies sideways! Ugh!! Now, put a glue dot at the top of the ornament, where the knot from the sheer ribbon will lie. I used 5/8" white organdy with a silver edge from Pink Hedgehog Paper Crafts. Tie the sheer ribbon around the the ornament tightly, making sure to tug the knot until it is nice and tight. Snip the ends very close to the knot. Cut a piece of cord about 6"-8" in length, place both cut ends together, and tie in a knot. Slip the knot under the sheer ribbon knot as shown in the photo. Note that the knotted end is toward the front of the ornament.

Now, pull up the knotted end and slip the looped end through the opposite loop. Look carefully, you can see the detail. Trust me, this will make the knots all end up in the right place. I played around with it to find the right direction.

Tug gently on the loop end until the knot tightens around the sheer ribbon knot.

Tie a bow with any ribbon you desire. 7/8" or larger works best, but you can really use anything. For this ornament, I also used white sheer with a silver edge.

Next, add your finishing touches as desired. The "instructions" are computer generated, then punched out using an SU tag punch, the mat is the larger SU tag punch. Sometimes I use a Versamarker and emboss "snow" around the edges of the tag using Iridescent Ice embossing powder. I added a snowflake cut using my Cuttlebug (rhinestone in the center). I also stamped snowflakes on the white part of the tag. (Darn sideways ornaments, this is why you need to pay attention to which way is up when you start tying ribbons! LOL

Enjoy, and please share your versions of my project. I'd love to see your take on it!
There was a fun sketch challenge on Paper Craft Planet today. It was designed to show off the background, but this idea came into my head, so I ran with it. I love it when a card designs itself in my head and turns out like I thought it would. Sometimes it designs itself right into a disaster and makes me wish I'd never started!

The birds are paper pieced, rather tedious, but worth the work. The scalloped circle at the top of the card is there to cover a slightly crooked sentiment that I stamped directly on the card. It was a happy mistake because I like the scallop there!
  • Paper: PTI White, SU Pretty in Pink cardstock, SU Designer Prints Pack
  • Ink: Adirondack Pitch Black
  • Stamps: A Little Birdie Told Me and Smarty Pants (both SU)
  • Accessories: 1/4" grosgrain in Cantaloupe, Strawberry Oregon Raindrops ($1/jar)