Monday, August 18, 2014

Hosting My First Challenge at Craft-Room Challenges!

Hi all, this is Christi and I am thrilled to bring you my very first challenge for Craft-Room Challenges! Some of you may know I am crazy cat woman. I might not qualify just yet, but with five furry felines, I am definitely on my way. The last cat we acquired was brought home when my significant other went to Petco (a large pet store chain) to get some more cat litter and food.  Petco will often show some cats from our local shelter in order to help them get adopted, especially during the summer months when people want kittens and cats older than one year often get over looked.  Well, when I got the phone call the he was bringing home a surprise for "me & the cats" I figured it wasn't food or any crafty goodies - sure enough, it was Sylvester who was our surprise.  How could I stay mad? So, Sylvester joined our happy family of other felines, Monster, Mew, Bud and Junior.  Sorry for the ramble, but when I start talking about my children cats, I find it hard to stop!  Anyway, I decided to honor my growing brood , I choose CATS as my challenge theme for challenge #83 at Craft-Room Challenges.  I can't wait to see the projects you come up with, and keep in mind you can create anything as long as you follow the theme. 

Now, I present my project. I love making wall hangings and I love quotes, so I incorporated three of my favorite things and came up with this canvas.

What I Used to Make my Project:
11 x 14 canvas
Memory Makers Paper, Pets, 12 x 12 "Cat Words" and 2 strips of "Cat Paws" (discontinued)
Coordinating Piece of 12 x 12 Paper
12 x 12 White Cardstock
Various Cat Cut Files (free)
Lobster 2 Font (free)
Silhouette CAMEO
Washi or Removable Tape
Regular Tape
Crafters Pick The Ultimate Glue

I have tons of cat and pet papers and embellishments that I have been saving for years.  My goal is to some day make a scrapbook of all my furbabies, both past & present.  My major problem is I am not a scrapbooker and I find it very difficult to make myself sit down and create a layout.  I am confident that someday I will do it - well, let's say it is on my list.  So first thing I did was go through my cat papers and I chose to use a paper from Pets by Memory Makers called "Cat Words" as my focal paper.  Since the 14" canvas is too wide for the 12 x 12 paper to fit, I cut off 2 strips from another paper in the same collection called "Cat Paws".  I attached the strips to the main page using tape on the backside.  
Paper with the added sides
Close Up

Next I set about finding a font I wanted to work with.  Since the quote is fairly long I wanted the words to weld together and be easier to work with.  I have hundreds of fonts I have collected and after trying a few out I settled on using Lobster 2 (which is a great font to use with any electronic cut machine - I have to thank Clever Someday for compiling list after list of good fonts as well as being an invaluable resource).  When my words were cut out, I used washi tape to keep the letters that were not welded with the words they belonged to.  I also use the tape to keep the letters and punctuation properly spaced so when I attach them to the canvas they are evenly spaced (mostly).

I found a plethora of cat cut files, as well as some I made into cut files and chose the ones I felt wouldn't be too complicated to scale down.  I am terrible at measuring and often just use my eye so I wasn't sure how big my vats were going to turn out - I figured the simpler the better.  After I had a page full of my cats all ready to be cut out, I decided to use white card for them.  I had originally had thoughts of making them all kinds of cat colors, but, knowing myself I would have taken that even further and had to make calico's, tabby's, etc., which would of caused me a whole 'nother level of stress over my inability to make them as good as I saw them in my minds eye.  Again, I am learning that, at least for now, simpler is better.  So we have white cats.
Fiddling with the Layout - placing words & cats
After putting on the lettering (with removable tape) I set about fiddling with the cats, after finally cutting out a size I felt fit the project.  I have enough white cat cut outs to serve my white cat cut out needs for quite a while.  Maybe I'll practice making them cat colors?  Anyway, with a little help from a good friend (who I can trust will put a bit more into her thoughts about a project than saying "Oh, yeah. That's cool.") I was able to finalize the design and glue it all down.  This is where the toothpicks become indispensable.  I use them for spreading glue, for getting glue on those teeny tiny areas and for getting glue out of those other teeny tiny areas.  I can't live without them!

So there you have it - "Cats are like potato chips, you can't have just one". A quote that I am living proof of.  I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and get inspired to join us at Craft-Room Challenges with your own cat inspired project! Remember, our challenge is on for two weeks - plenty of time to join. Thanks! Christi
Another look

I would like to enter my project in the following challenges:
Through the Craft Room Door - 8/19 to 8/25 - Anything Goes
{PIN}spirational - #121, see image
Crafty Calendar Challenge - August, Anything Goes
Amusing Challenges - Use Die Cuts
Inky Impressions - #172,  Animal Friends
Rhedd's Creative Spirit - Anything Goes (altered canvas)
Altered Eclectics - August Challenge, Anything Goes (altered canvas)
{PIN}spirational Challenge


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shades of Blue at Anything But a Card

Challenge #38 at Anything But a Card is the theme of  Repeating Motifs and/or Patterns. I had just been going through some of my stamps (which I confess are in boxes right now) and I came across some of the more "artsy" stamps that I have.  I had forgotten how beautiful they were, and how perfect some of them would be for the theme.  So, along with my favorite color palette, I chose my stamp and away I went! Let me share my Shades of Blue wall hanging with with you.

What I Used to Make this Project:
Limited Edition Rubber Stamp, # 8779K (I think this stamp is discontinued)
White Cardstock
Blue Ink - I used every blue ink I had: StazOn Azure, Distress Tumbled Glass & Faded Jeans, Brilliance Ink Mediterranean Blue, Pearlescent Ice Blue and Pearlescent Sky Blue, Memento Ink Bahama Blue & Danube Blue, Wendy Vecchi Cornflower Blue, Adirondack Denim Blue & Stream.
12 x 12 Piece of Navy Blue Card
Piece of Mat Board, approximately 9 x 9

This stamp worked perfect for this wall hanging.  Since it had 3 "lines", I decided I'd use 9 squares.  First, I stamped the image in the various blue inks on the white card stock.
Stamped Many Times
I cut apart the images just so I could get a better sense of which ones I actually wanted to use in the project.  

Trimmed Squares & Strips

Once I had chosen the final 9, the next step was to trim them so they'd be close to the same size and then I cut each square stamped with the stamp into three strips.  After that I fooled at bit with the placement of strips, using three strips at a time to reconstruct the stamp.  I had found an old piece of mat board and I trimmed it to 9" x 9", and then covered it with navy blue cardstock which was also trimmed to size.  After deciding the placement of the reconstructed squares
Restructured Squares (color is off, sorry!)
- I didn't want to have 2 strips of the same color next to each other - I glued them all down and there you have it ~ Shades of Blue! 

Another View

I do have to put some sort of protective coating on it - if you have any ideas of what I should use, please share - but after that I plan to hang it in my kitchen where my colors are green, blue and white (although it's hard to tell <grin>). I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and my final project.  There is still plenty of time to join in on the challenge at Anything But a Card and I hope to see you there.  Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have an artful week! Christi

I would like to enter my Shades of Blue project in the following challenges:
The Squirrel & The Fox - #75, Anything Goes
Stamping Sensations - August Challenge, Anything Goes
613 Avenue - #85, Anything Goes 
Marks Finest Papers - #225, Nine Squares
Crafts for Eternity - #189, Something Old (the stamp I used is at least 10 years old)
Simply Create Too - #68, Monochromatic (Shades of Blue) 
The Artistic Stamper - August Challenge, Anything Goes

Where did I find these fabulous challenges to enter? Check out Challenges for Days and find some challenges that inspire YOU!  

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Summer Garden Challenge at Craft-Room Challenges

~*~ This is my one hundredth post!! ~*~ Go ME!

For the 82nd challenge at Craft-Room Challenge, Hazel has chosen the theme of "A Summer Garden".  Once again, I had lofty plans of all the incredible art I was going to create when I realized I was running out of time once again.  Truthfully, as I write this the challenge is almost 1 1/2 weeks away, but I am having major dental surgery at the end of July and I am scrambling like mad to try to ensure all my Design Team work is done.   So by the time you read this I will be happily recuperating because I should be heavily medicated and it will be over and done with.  But I digress. . .
Confused? Read on. . .KaiserCraft on the left, DCWV on the right
 What I Used to Create my Card(s):
  • 2 coordinating pieces of DCWV Linen Closet Stack
  • 1 piece KaiserCraft Lady Rose Collection, Champagne 
  • 1 piece Green paper, for base of KaiserCraft card
  • Wendy Vecchi Archival Ink by Ranger in Fern Green
  • Wendy Vecchi Blooming Art stamp set, SCS119, for sentiment
  • White Cardstock for label
  • Crafters Pick The Ultimate Glue 
  • A2 Pop Up Card - Artisan (Silhouette or Lori Whitlock store)
  • Silhouette Cameo
The final card

The base card (DCWV)
As you know by now I love making 3D things and I had found this card in the Silhouette store named "A2 Pop Up Card - Artisan", which was designed by Lori Whitlock (you can purchase the cut file through the Silhouette store or on the Lori Whitlock site).  It looked like fun and I also love using labels so this was a win win for me!  I purchased the card and opened it up in my Silhouette Studio DE to figure out how to piece the card out for cutting.  Now, I know the challenge is Summer Garden, and I truly thought I could use the paper I initially picked out, which was DCWV Linen Closet Stack (I had some 6" x 12" scraps and I was happy that I could make the card with those).  There are some awesome florals in that stack - very sparkly, glittery and pretty.  It really wasn't until I was almost done with the card that I realized the paper wasn't summery at all. While the paper is indeed sparkly, glittery and pretty, it definitely isn't summery; at least it isn't to me.  So I went and chose some KaiserCraft paper, the collection is called Lady Rose, perfect for "A Summer Garden".  So, I proceeded to make another card. 
The cover card stock, on my cutting mat (DCWV)
Well, I had taken all my pictures using the DCWV paper, so now you'll get to see two different versions of the card.  What I think is really neat about the card is that it stands on it's own and yet, when it is folded in, it still fits in an A2 envelope. I also kept the cover card stock in place as I took it off my cutting mat, in fact, I adhered each piece to the base card as I removed the it to ensure I'd have no pattern upset. I also resized the label down a bit to make the white label that I stamped and put on the front of the KaiserCraft card. Wendy Vecchi's ink matched that green base card perfectly!  See, I truly DO need all of those ink  pads!

View from the top of the card (KasierCraft) 

When I make the card again, I think I'll put 2 of the white labels together (fold over, like a place card) so if I want to write something "in" the card I'll have a space to do it in.  All in all I am excited about how simple it was to put these together and I immediately thought of holiday cards - how pretty would some festive Christmas or Chanukah paper would look! And with my "place card" idea the structure of the card would still be the same and I can write a little note on each card.  Or, even Halloween!! Wouldn't a bat be adorable in place of the label?!? Oh yes, the ideas are rolling in. . .

It really does fit in an A2 envelope! (A2 is card size 5 1/2" x 4 1/4")
And a final look - the colors aren't as bright in this picture for some reason.  They are truer in the other pictures.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope my directions weren't too confusing.  Please, feel free to contact by using the Contact Form on the side bar, or leave me a comment if you have any questions.  In fact, leave me a comment even if you don't have any questions (and leave your blog address in your comment so I can stop by your blog!) Also, please pop by Craft-Room Challenges and enter!! Fabulous new challenge every 2 weeks ~ Have a wonderful day ~ Christi

I would like to enter my card in the following challenges:
I Love to Create - #127, Anything Goes
Crafty Cardmakers and More - #120, Fancy Folds
Stamping Sensations - August Challenge, Anything Goes 
Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers - L is for Layers
Sister Act Card Challenge - #68, Anything Goes

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Little Fruity Fun

I got the inspiration for making this card from doing my Tuesday list at Challenges for Days.  For those who aren’t familiar with Challenges for Days it's a blog that lists challenges you can enter and my day is Tuesday.  Volunteering at the blog has really inspired me and I work with a fabulous crew of people.  If you think you may be able to spare an hour or so (usually less) please see the blog for details on how you can help us expand and get inspired as well. 
My Fruity Fun Card

I typically do a list detailing the items I used to make a project, but this one is self-explanatory, so I am just going to talk about the card.  I had gotten the very first Sizzix that came out on the market. The old machine was SO heavy (I still have it after all these years!) and could do nothing but make die
Close Up of the Die Cuts
cuts but the idea that you could actually cut out your own shapes was SO exciting! One of the dies that came with the machine was a little one called simply “Fruits” (and they don’t make the old Sizzix machine or this die anymore; they must be at least 15 years old).  I used the “Fruit” die to cut out my apples, pears and grapes, but I used my Big Shot to do the cutting.  I also used various punches, some small circles to make cherries and plums, as well as a few different leaf punches.  Piecing together the fruit was so fun; I used nothing but scrap cardstock on this entire card since the fruit is tiny.

Pic of LCS103 cropped

I also used one of my very favorite Wendy Vecchi stamp sets called “Heirloom Art”, LSC103, for the sentiment.  Again, I just used a coordinating scrap of cardstock and stamped the sentiment on it using Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black, I left the inside blank so I could use the card for any number of occasions. I chose this sentiment because I felt the whimsical font Wendy used on it was perfect for this card – after all, how serious can it be with all these cute little cardstock fruits on it?  So there you have it.  A fruity fun little card to brighten someone’s day!  Thanks for stopping by and please don’t forget to subscribe to Challenges for Days for your daily dose of challenging inspiration ~ Christi
Another picture of the card.  I think this one has truer color than the top one.

**You can find the Heirloom Art stamp set online.  To see the set in its entirety, go to Stampers Anonymous, choose the first "drawer", scroll down using the side menu, go to Spring 2013 releases under Studio490/Wendy Vecchi, then to page 5.  I had to crop the image of the set significantly so it would fit.

I would like to enter my card in the following challenges:
Stuck On U Sketches - Die Cut Food/Drink
The Crafting Cafe - Feeling Fruity
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Mid Summer Challenge
The Crazy Challenge - Die Cuts and Punches
Shopping Our Stash - #161, Eat 5 a Day (fruits and/or veggies)
Oldie but a Goodie Challenge - Fruits & Veg
The Sisterhood of Crafters - Die Cuts and/or Punches
Word Art Wednesday - #142, Use Uplifting Sentiment

Thanks for stopping by & I would love to hear from you :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Craft-Room Challenges - Picture Inspiration, Challenge 81

Thanks to those who bravely entered the Tattoo Challenge – what fab entries! Be sure to check and see if you, or someone you know, won!
The Inspiration Pic - makes me think of mint juleps (not that I have ever had one)
It is just too stinkin’ hot to be creative!  I need a swimming pool, a vacation, a swamp cooler or air conditioning.  I didn’t even know what a swamp cooler was 3 years ago! Seriously, the heat out here in Colorado is different than on the East Coast, and the really “bad” heat goes away everyday when the sun goes down (thank goodness), so we do get a break from it.  Which is why I made this card at 5AM this morning.  I had many ideas of what I wanted to do with Debbie’s Picture Challenge at Craft-Room Challenges, but none of which I really had the energy to bring to fruition.  This card, however, was easy and you all know how I like easy!

The finished card
What I Used to Make This Card:

Paper flowers (No idea about the green ones, but the white ones are from Hero Arts)
2 square doilies, from the Stash
4 brads (homemade, 4 silver brads topped with Pretty Pearl embossing powder)
Tim Holtz Distress Marker in Mowed Lawn
SU! Set, Sincere Salutations
Marvy 2” Round Punch
Green cardstock
White base card, square, 5 ¼” x 5 ¼”

I had no square cards (that I could find) so I made one.  I gathered all the supplies I wanted to use. I “made” the brads and assembled the flowers. 
Messed about with some different color ink on the sentiment before I settled on using the Distress Marker to color the stamp and stamped it on scrap white cardstock, then punched out the circle.  The doilies are something I have had for years, and when I pulled them out, I didn’t realize I had puled out 2.  Pulled them apart, realized they were too sheer, and glued them back together.  Once the doilies dried, I glued them to the green cardstock. 
I had originally wanted the card to consist of white on white, but I thought that was just too stark and the green background ties the colors together nicely.  The sentiment circle was placed in the center and attached, once I decided which one I wanted to use. 

 I then attached the flowers to the doily/green card background, around the sentiment.  That was it!  I love the photo Debbie chose – and I actually felt a bit of a cool breeze when looking at it.  I hope you find a cool (or warm) breeze wherever you are! And don’t forget, you have 2 full weeks to get your green going and enter the challenge! Thanks for stopping by ~ Christi

PS: I don't normally do this, but read the story of little Danny Nickerson , who wants birthday cards for his birthday. I know his birthday is July 25, but I am sure he will be checking his PO every few days! Please pass this on to the other crafters you know - I would love for this little boy to have a great time.
Another view of the card

I would like to enter my card in the following challenges:
Sisterhood of Snarky Stampers - Challenge #12, B is for Buttons or Brads 
Charisma Cardz Challenge - #15, Anything Goes
Ladybug Crafts - Summer Flowers

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Anything But a Card ~ Keys Shadow Box

ARGH! I hate it when my scheduled post doesn't post!! 

The challenge this month at Anything But A Card Challenge is one of my favorite themes, Anything Goes (#37).  I love Anything Goes challenges as they give me free reign to use some of the items I have hoarded over the years, like the shadow box I used in this project.  Well, honestly, most of what I used has been in my stash for years.  It was fairly simple to make and since I had everything on hand, it was free!
Sorry for the glare - glass!!
What I Used to Make This Project:
Shadow Box, mine was about 13” x 10” (the frame was darker, so I sanded it)
Background paper from KaiserCraft, Art of Life Collection, P1399, Always (2 pieces) 12" x 12"
8 Skeleton Keys
Washi Tape from Tim Holtz
Brown Velvet Leaves (I can’t recall where I got them, but if you search you can find plenty of options)
Small Bulb from Tim Holtz
Other Embellishments from stash & around the house
Crafters Pick The Ultimate Glue

I began with the background paper.  Since my shadow box is 13” long, I needed a bit of something to fill in where the 12” x 12” paper fell short. 
You can see the sides of the board - this was before I put the scalloped pieces on
The Keys
I happened to turn the paper over and found the scallop border design on the other side, so I just cut those out of the paper and used those to make up the difference.  Once I got the background settled, the placement of the keys was next. I wanted them to be the focus of the piece so in the middle they went.  I honestly am not on to measure and be precise, I always do it by eye when I make cards, but I actually measured the area around the keys so they could be placed as close to the middle as possible (as possible for me anyway).  Once I was happy with the keys, I glued them to the board and put it aside for overnight drying. 

I had already begun gathering some prospective embellishments before I began making the shadow box.  I am always thinking (obsessing?) about upcoming projects and I think a lot before I actually begin one. Of course I have those days where I just want to play, but if I have a theme, I often think for days prior to beginning the piece.  I tried doing the sketchbook thing, can’t do it, can’t draw what I want to and this frustrates me to NO end.  I will occasionally make notes if something strikes me that I fear I might forget.  And, since I started blogging as a part of teams, I do make a list of the items I use to make something so when it comes time to do this part I can be sure of what I used and if I can, I like to supply manufactures (I hate seeing something really cool and not having any idea what people used in making it).  Sorry for the detour into my creative process! I had gathered some stuff that had been hanging around; one item is particularly special for me is the pen nib.  When my Dad passed away, I found this pen nib in a drawer along with some other art materials and have squirreled it away – I think this was the perfect use for it!  Everything is real, except for the bulb and the keyhole – the keyhole was a brad and I just removed the “legs”.  The snippet of letter on the bottom right is from a real letter, the typewriter key (or is it an old adding machine key?) is real, the clock dial is real and the optic piece is from a real optometrist kit.  Flea markets & eBay are wonderful!

Playing with Placement
Playing with Placement
After I fiddled with the placement of the embellishments, and fiddled some more, I finally felt the piece was done and glued everything down.  After allowing it to dry overnight (and I am SO proud to say I didn’t get spare glue anywhere!) I placed the board in the back of the box.  Now, originally, there was a piece of cardboard as the backing, but I knew that would never work, so I asked if I could get a piece of wood cut to size.  My SO used an old cabinet that was left here when the previous owners moved out.  Love to recycle that kinda stuff! The wood fit the back so perfectly I didn’t even need to glue it to the box – I just folded the little holders and I was done!  The only thing missing is a hanging mechanism, which I will rectify on my next trip to the wonderful Dollar Tree.
The board, before I put it in the frame
I hope you enjoyed my creation, and my detour into my creative process! There is plenty of time to enter the Challenge at Anything But a Card and I do hope you will pop over to the blog and get some inspiration.  Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a marvelous week ~ Christi

PS: If you'd like to see a photo in more detail, please click it. This is true on all of my posts :)
Another view of the final product

I am entering my Keys Shadow Box in the following Challenges:
Crafting at the Weekend - Challenge 3, Anything Goes

Altered Eclectics - Anything Goes
Just for Fun Challenge Blog - #1, Anything Goes
Mixed Media Monthly Challenge - July Challenge (Around the House)
Through The Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
The Sailing Pineapple - #11,  Anything But a Card

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Craft Room Challenge Blog - Wedding or Anniversary Card

I had a completely different card all set up for today, but it seems my computer has lost the files! I love it when that happens – NOT.  Anyway, I whipped up this wedding card to make up for it. Better late than never! Please pop over to the Craft-Room Challenge, get inspired and enter your own card or project! I hope you enjoy it!

What I Used to Make this Card:
Birds Cut file of Wedding Cake & Stand (cut on my Silhouette CAMEO)

Square Card Base 5 ¼ x 5 ¼ in White

3 papers in different shades of white (classic white, light Kraft & antique (or vanilla) white)

Decorative piece of Chipboard (mine is Basic Grey)

Love by Definition – SU! Background Stamp

Love Stamp (unknown manufacturer)

Distress Ink in Antique Linen & Brushed Corduroy

The stamped background
I began by stamping the “Love by Definition” stamp on the center of the card using the Distress Ink in Antique Linen.  I didn’t want the background of the card to be white along with everything else, so I thought this gave it a little oomph.

Ribbon Flowers
Then I set about cutting out the cut file from Bird.  I searched her site for the actual cut file but had no luck in finding it. But, if your heart is set on using this cut file, I am sure she'd be able to find it for you!  I divided the cake and the stand; using the plain white cardstock I cut out the stand, then I used a light Kraft color for the cake base, and finally vanilla (antique white) for the top pieces of the cake.  I assembled the cake (although I suspect I may have done it wrong) and then cut some ribbon flowers off the ribbon. I adhered the ribbon flowers with glue and set the cake aside.

I stamped the word “love” on plain white cardstock with the Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink.  I chose a piece of chipboard that would both fit the word and on the card; inked all around the edge with the Brushed Corduroy Ink, trimmed the work and attached it to the chipboard.

Finally, I glued the cake to the card base and the chipboard as well.  It really only took me about a half an hour, and it came out looking like it took much longer, I think.  It’s amazing what you can do when you are pressed for time!  Thanks for stopping by! Christi

There is plenty of time for you to enter this challenge at the Craft-Room Challenge blog - you have 2 whole weeks!!

I am entering my Wedding Cake Card in the following Challenges:
Aud Sentiments - Anything Goes
Charisma Cardz Challenge - Anything Goes
Pile it On - #27, Add Some Flowers
Sister Act - #64, Anything Goes
Creative Moments - #46, Anything Goes, Twist = Celebration
Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenges - #185, Anything Goes
Paper Crafting Challenges - Anything Goes