Friday, February 23, 2018

I'm a Puffer Over You

Do you know about the Season's Giving Blog Hop that Latisha Yoast has put on for the last 6 years? It is TRULY amazing - there is a huge list of artists and companies who give away crafty goodies {and I mean tons of goodies!} and it can take 2 or 3 days to get to each crafters and manufacturers blog and comment, but it is well worth the effort.  This year {2017} I won THIS amazing haul from Libby HicksonAll #HeroArts goodies, all BRAND new, 3 or 4 stamp sets have the included dies, stencils, sequins, stand alone dies - it's amazing!  The Season's Giving hop doesn't begin until around Christmas time, so be sure to check Latisha's website around the 25th of December; in fact, you should just subscribe so you'll get notice!  

That is how this card was born.  I received the Puffer Fish stamp set and die set; one I have been coveting 'cause it is SO freaking cute {I'm must be getting older!} and as soon as I calmed down from unpacking my box, I got playing.


What I Used to Make my Card:
White Card Base
Ranger Watercolor Paper
Oxide Inks in Picked Raspberry & Worn Lipstick
Distress Sprayer
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Hero Arts I'm a Puffer for You stamp set, #CM170
Hero Arts Puffer Frame Cuts, #DI395
Clean Color Markers
Dimensional Dots

I started with my background - I used Distress Oxides to create the focal point,
lightly using the inks, spraying and re-working until I was satisfied with the look.


I stamped the puffer fish on watercolor paper, cut her out and colored her with the markers.  As she sat drying, I cut out a pink heart, using the same die set and fiddled with the placement.  Once the fish was dry, I chose her spot and decided where the sentiment should go.  After I stamped the sentiment, I used dimensional dots for the heart and the fish.  For some reason my camera refused to capture the true color of the puffer - she matches the background much better than in the photos.  I am very pleased how this card came out; these puffer fish are just so adorable!  I hope you enjoyed my tutorial & please consider following me ~ Thanks! Christi

I'm entering my Puffer Over You card in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Make Your Own Background
CASology - #288, Pun
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - M, Anything Goes but MUST Include a Critter
atoz Scrapbooking - M, It's a Love Thing
Die Cut Divas - M, Love is in The Air
Happy Little Stampers Anything Goes with Dies - M, Anything Goes
Craft Rocket Challenge - M, #45, Love
Mix it Up - M, Anything Goes w/ CAS

 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Week 3 of Janis' Birthday ATCs {Adorable Teapot Collection}

You can read all about Janis' birthday celebration here and see my week one All Those Cats ATCs here, my And The Chickens ATC here, and for the current week, Adorable Teapot Collection, you are in the perfect spot; just read on! If you missed week 1, or even week 2, no worries as you have ALL month to whip up some ATCs and enter {the challenge and celebration end March 3, 2018}! 

What are ATC's? ATC stands for Artist Trading Cards.  There are no requirements to make them {unless you are participating in a swap or, in this case, Janis' third theme is Adorable Teapot Collection} EXCEPT they must be 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", the same size as a standard playing card or trading card.

For this week, Janis choose Adorable Teapot Collection. Seems that she's been collecting teapots {and some adorable cat mugs - she even beats my collection of cat mugs, which is still in the box from my move} due to her love for herbal teas.  Here I thought chickens was a tough theme; well, teapots just had me about ready to throw in the tea towel {ha ha, see what I did there?}  As luck would have it, I used to belong to this awesome kit club and along with the coolest papers and such, they'd send you charms.  Back in the day we used to put charms on our cards, long before CAS was a thing. I have all my charms in a little 6 drawer storage tower, neatly categorized and labeled, so I had no trouble finding my teapot, coffee, and cups charms.  I picked out a teapot and a teabag; I figured I'd use tea cups as my stamped background.  The charms were gold, as most of my charms are, but that was remedied with a few swipes of my silver leafing pen.  Once the charms were dry from the leafing, off I went.

I'm not going to go into detail about how I made each one; it's fairly self explanatory but if you have any questions, just ask! 

Tea ATC

What I Used to make my Teapot ATC:
White Heavy Card
STAMPlorations Sketchy Coffee Cups
Distress Ink in Tea Dye 
Teapot & Teabag Charms
Krylon Silver Leafing Pen
Round Letter Beads
E6000 adhesive 

I almost ruined the whole thing, but I think I did OK saving it. I'm not even go into why or how I almost ruined it; you'll have to trust me as I'm still a bit
skittish about the incident.  Let's just say it involves glue, a few cats, and a paper cutter.


I hope you join the birthday celebration over at Her Peaceful Garden; get out those scraps and make some ATCs! They really are addicting and I think limiting yourself to the tiny canvas stretches your creativeness.  I appreciate your stopping by and stay tuned for more fabulous ATCs. Thanks! Christi



I am entering my Adorable Teapot Collection ATC in the following challenges:
Her Peaceful Garden - Adorable Teapot Collection
Pile it On - #139, 3D embellishments and/or stickers, washi tape
PDE - #7, Anything Goes
Inspiration Destination - #144, Anything Goes, TWIST: Use a Real Stamp

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Let it Snow . . Again

ENABLER ALERT: Did you know that Dies R Us is now stocking paper, ink and ALL kinds of goodies - you really should pop in and get all the goodies your Valentine forgot to give you.  Flowers die, candy gets eaten, but craft supplies last forever a really long time :) 

I've been using the border from Lawn Fawn that reads "Let it Snow" a lot recently.  I think this may be my third card this season, but nothing says winter to me quite like snow does.  So, get ready, 'cause here we go, a visit to a small mountain town. . .



What I Used to Make this Card:
White Card Base
Lawn Fawn Let it Snow Border, #LF992
Lawn Fawn Ready, Set, Snow Stamp Set, #LF973
Lawn Fawn Ready, Set, Snow Die Cuts, #LF974
Lawn Fawn Starry Skies Die, #LF1377
Hero Arts MMH Kit, October 2017 {sort of}
Water Color Paper
Distress Oxide Inks in Wilted Violet, Faded Jeans, Cracked Pistachio & Broken                                          China
Distress Sprayer
Wendy Vecchi Fern Green Ink
Alcohol Ink Markers
Dimensional Dots
Glitter Card in White

I've had this half of this mountain sitting on my desk since October - that was the inspiration for this card.  I had used the other half making a similar scene with the Hero Arts My Monthly Hero Kit from October; check it out here. And, of course, when I went to go find it to use it, poof, the gremlins were at play.  It literally took me two days to find it, but, as you can see, I was successful - ha ha ha craft room gremlins! I won!

Now I had my mountain, so I needed a sky.  I found this in my stash pile - luckily, I had written down the Oxide colors I used {and have you seen that Tim Holtz has released MORE colors?!!? LOVE IT; but now I need to buy another ink pad stand or two.  Heck, maybe three. . .} because I would have never remembered.  So this background was created using Oxides and the Distress Sprayer.  I attached my mountain and built from there.

I stamped my images on watercolor paper, as I wasn't sure how I was going to color them.  Since I wasn't going to blend, I knew that even alcohol markers would be fine to use if I chose. The evergreen trees were actually stamped with green ink, then die cut.  Everything else was stamped in black.   I cut them all out and I even cut a few extra houses but snipped off the first house and the last house. I wanted this to look like a neighborhood in the village.  I colored all my houses with alcohol ink markers and used dimensional dots to
Dimension!
pop out a few of the homes and the trees on the card.


I cut the sentiment out of the same white glitter card as the mountain and I thought I was done.  I left the card overnight and the next day I felt that the card needed just a bit more something.  I looked at all the teeny tiny snowflakes included with my stamp sets but none of them were small enough for the look I wanted.  That's when I got the idea to use my Starry Skies die - I mean, yes, they are obviously stars, but I bet you didn't notice until I just told you and you looked at the card again! I cut the snow-stars {works for me!} out of the white glitter card and attached them to my sky.  I didn't use all of them but I used most, and even attached some of the dots that got die cut as well.  

I'm thrilled with my little scene.  When I was first stamping, it was nearly
Another Look
impossible for me to stamp a scene; perspective is SO important to me and I just didn't have the funds to collect the really beautiful scene stamps {like Stampscapes} or enough of all the things I wanted in the same scale.  Now, all the things I need are in one kit, easily obtained.  I hope you like my little scene as well.  Have you ever used something as something else, like I've done with the snow-stars? I'd love to know; please leave me a comment, with a link to your creation if possible, so I can share the love!  Thank you so much. ~Christi


PS: Don't forget that Dies R Us is now stocking paper, ink and ALL kinds of goodies - you really should pop in and get all the goodies your Valentine forgot to give you.  Flowers die, candy gets eaten, but craft supplies last forever a really long time :) 
Don't forget to join in on all the fun at the Dies R Us Challenge Blog.  
There's  a new challenge theme offered on the 1st and 15th of each month
 and one lucky  randomly drawn winner will receive a gift voucher prize to 
the Dies R Us Store.  For your convenience, all the important Dies R Us 

links are provided below.


click below for:

I am entering my Let it Snow card in the following Challenges:
Crafty Awesomeness Challenge - M, Anything Goes
Crea Chicky's Challenge -M, Winter/Valentines
Happy Little Stampers - Dies - M, Anything Goes
Papercrafter's Linky Party - #3, Anything Goes
Not Just Cards - M, Anything Goes


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Week 2 {And The Chickens} of Janis' Birthday Celebration!

You can read all about Janis' birthday celebration here and see my week one All Those Cats ATCs here.  If you missed week 1, no worries as you have ALL month to whip up some ATCs and enter! Yeah, I went a tad crazy with the cats and entered four - you can see my post here.

What are ATC's? ATC stands for Artist Trading Cards.  There are no requirements to make them {unless you are participating in a swap or, in this case, Janis' second theme is And The Chickens} EXCEPT they must be 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", the same size as a standard playing card or trading card.

For this week, Janis choose All Those Chickens. Sense a theme here? Anyway, this one had me seriously brainstorming.  I have NO chicken stamps, no chicken paper, no chicken anything. Then the light bulb went off - I do have roosters! Aren't they technically chickens?!?  I'm not sure, but I am sure that Janis will adore my ATC.

I'm not going to go into detail about how I made each one; it's fairly self explanatory but, if you have any questions, just ask! 

Never Dull Your Sparkle

What I Used to make my Rooster ATC:
DCWV Tie Dye Stack {discontinued but available}
Darice Clouds Embossing Folder, #1217-53
Lawn Fawn Grassy Border Die, #LF613
Dresden Roosters {red foil & white paper}
Computer Generated Saying 
Stash 

Once I found the chicken roosters, the hardest part was deciding what font to use for the sentiment.  I'm sort of a font junkie and I have entirely too many.  I ended up using Fontdinerdotcom Sparkly, but it took me about two days to decide! Oh well - I think I chose the perfect font for this ATC. 

I hope you join the birthday celebration over at Her Peaceful Garden; get out those scraps and make some ATCs! They really are addicting and I think limiting yourself to the tiny canvas stretches your creativeness.  I appreciate your stopping by and stay tuned for more fabulous ATCs. Thanks! Christi

I am entering my And The Chickens ATC in the following challenges:
Her Peaceful Garden - And The Chickens
Pixies Crafty Workshop - #320, Use Snippets
A Bit More Time to Craft - #62, Anything Goes
Through The Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
Crafty Creations - #360, Anything Goes

Celebrating Janis' 60th Birthday! {week 1 - All Those Cats}

Janis, from Her Peaceful Garden, and I met back when she had her first Cat Lovers Blog Hop {here is the link for the 2017 hop} - she is a cat lover, as I am, and she is owned by about 13 cats; both feral and house cats.  We've become friends over the years and I adore her.  When she began talking about her birthday and how she wanted to do ATC's for her online celebration, I was so happy! I LOVE ATC's and used to participate in many swaps online.  I hope this little party of Janis' encourages ATC's to make a comeback.  

What are ATC's? ATC stands for Artist Trading Cards.  There are no requirements to make them {unless you are participating in a swap, or, in this case, Janis' first theme: All Those Cats} EXCEPT they must be 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", the same size as a standard playing card or trading card.


I'm not going to go into detail about how I made each one; it's fairly self explanatory but, if you have any questions, just ask! 

I try to use scrap papers to make my ATCs - here is a picture of my scrap bin {I only put small snippets in it} just to give you an idea of how small the pieces for your ATC can be. There is a picture of the side of my little bin, and then the bottom.  I save more than I can ever use, but it comes in VERY handy!





Here are my four ATCs for week one of Janis' birthday party:

Paw Prints


What I Used to Make my Paw Prints ATC:
Heavy White Card, cut into ATC size
Snips & scraps of various pink & purple papers 

Penny Black, Nine Lives Set, #30-050
Stampendous, Cat Sayings, #SSC1222
Small Heart Punch
Hero Arts Ink in Pink Tourmaline, Ruby & Amethyst                       

 Balloon Kitty


What I Used to Make my Balloon Cat ATC:
Heavy White Card, cut into ATC size
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Penny Black, Purrfect Day, #30-027 {discontinued but available}
Unknown Coloring {colored this image AGES ago}
DCWV, Tie Dye Stack {discontinued but available}
Distress Marker in Broken China

Sneaky Kitties

The Mama Elephant "The Cat's Meow" stamp and die are MUCH longer than an
ATC.  In fact, it's called "Crowd of Cats" and according to the ME website, it measures 5 3/4" x 2".  In order to make this ATC and the Meow ATC, I cut the image down into two separate groups of cats, then added single cats in places. Also, I colored the kitties with whimsical colors - I figured why not and I need a break from trying to color them realistically.  This goes for both of the Mama Elephant ATCs.  

What I Used to Make my Sneaky Cats ATC:
Heavy White Card, cut into ATC size
Mama Elephant, The Cat's Meow, stamps
Mama Elephant, The Cat's Meow, Creative Cuts Dies
Detail Water Brush
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Clean Color Markers
Watercolor Paper
Palm Frond Punch
Various Green Paper

Meow
I needed a break from using realistic cat colors, so these kitties are colored fancifully.  I cut down some dimensional dots and dotted the birthday hat, the blue balloon, and the meow sign but you can't really tell in this picture. I also added some single cats to round out the group.

What I Used to Make my Meow ATC:
Heavy White Card, cut into ATC size
Mama ElephantThe Cat's Meow, stamps
Mama ElephantThe Cat's Meow, Creative Cuts Dies
Detail Water Brush
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Clean Color Markers
Watercolor Paper
Dimensional Dots
Washi Tape in Glitter Purple

Finally, here is a picture of all four together.


I hope you enjoyed my ATCs.  I really have a great time making them and going through my snippet box to see what inspires me.  My favorite is the meow ATC - which one is yours? Thanks SO much for your visit and I hope you come back soon! ~Christi

I would like to enter all four of my creations in the following challenges -
Her Peaceful Garden Birthday Celebration - Wk 1, All Those Cats
Addicted to CAS - #130, Cat {At least 2 of my ATCs are CAS}
Crafting with Friends - M, #61, Anything Goes
The Outlaws - Twisted Thursday - Twist: Fur {lots of virtual fur here!}
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - M, Anything Goes w/ a Critter
Fairy-Tale Challenge - Use Mini Stamps {The 2 ATCs using ME are Mini Stamps}
SUYP - M, Anything Goes and/or LOVE

Just FYI: What IS that Spiky Round Thing?

Side View

I have been asked this numerous times since I've started blogging - and no worries, as I had to ask, too - and, while it is intended for one purpose, it has a few names.

The "real" purpose of this little spiky disk is to hold flower arrangements.


I have seen it called a flower frog, kenzan {used for the ikebana Japanese method of flower arranging}, flower arranging frog, pin frog, spiky frog, spiky pin, and basically any combination of the names I've listed.  I call it a flower frog.  I have also seen prices ranging from about $50 down to $5.50.  I would imagine if you were going to use the flower frog for it's intended purpose, it would matter what the diameter is, how heavy it is, the shape {I've seen rectangle ones}, et cetera.  But for our purposes, not so much.

When I first began my search I only found antique ones - beautiful, but I was not going to spend that kind of money on something to prop up my cards.  After some time went by, I began searching again and found a plethora of them, much more reasonably priced.  Just for the record, I got mine at Amazon {is there anything they don't carry?} Unfortunately, the one I use is currently unavailable but if you search for "mini flower frogs flower arranging" you will get a few {I get nothing from Amazon, just thought I'd share.} But definitely do some searching and I am certain you will find one that works for you. 

So now you know what it is, what it's called, why they exist, and where to get one.  Hopefully I've answered some of your questions. ~ Christi

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Purple and Gold Valentine

By now you should know that Dies R Us has expended it's product line, and I'm not going to go on and on about all the great stuff they are carrying; I'm just gonna say watch this space 'cause I've got goodies coming! I wanted to create a Valentine without using a speck of red or pink, one I could give my Man without it being too girly.  I think I accomplished my goal and got to use lots of yummy dies!  


What I Used to Make my Card:
White Square Card Base {5 1/4" x 5 1/4"}
Purple Card {Core'dinations Lap of Luxury Paper Pack}
Pale Gold Card
Gold & Silver "Crinkle" Designer Paper
Creative Expressions, Sue Wilson Jeweled Heart, #CED21005
Creative Expressions, Sue Wilson Swirly Lace Edger, #CED6405
Cheery Lynn Heart Chain Border, #B115
Die-Version Complements Everyday, #DVS-4X6-104 
Purple & Gold Designer Paper
Gold Background Paper

Making this card is the beginning of fulfilling my resolution to use more of my stash.  I've had the purple & gold paper, and the gold & silver crinkle paper, for longer than I care to admit.  Back in the day, when I first started stamping, I collected designer papers like mad.  I have some that are so beautiful, I can't
The heart is cut from this
ever use them.  I used to think I was going to delve into book binding and all these gorgeous papers were going to grace my book covers.  Well, that never really happened {although I still have all the stuff needed, should I ever decide to go that route} and I have to start using these papers.  Especially since Dies R Us has started carrying paper; and there are SO many paper pads I want! I have to start making some room.  


I started this card with the center design, the purple & gold heart.  The gold background matches the gold in the design almost perfectly.  I carefully cut the heart out and mounted it on the gold paper.  The next step was to find a purple paper that matched so I could use it as a mat; luckily, the Lap of Luxury paper worked.  I then mounted that onto the square, white, card base.  The card was pretty, but I needed to add more, and I need a sentiment.  I cut the "Love You" out of the same purple I'd used as the mat and glued that into the middle of the heart.
The corner paper

I literally just got the Swirly Edger Die in the mail so you know I had to figure out a way to use that on the card.  Plus, there was some nasty glue residue that had to be covered up; but that's our secret, so don't tell anyone.  I found this interesting, crinkly, paper in my stash and decided to use that.  I cut it out twice; there wasn't enough room at the top of the design to add the corners there, too.  This did mess with my sense of uniformity but I am working on getting over that, too.  

The card was looking better to me but it still was missing something.  It
needed one more little touch of oomph.  I happened to have the heart border die on my desk and I thought that would fit in the border of the card perfectly.  Instead of using the same gold with which I had matted the card, I went with a pale gold {another very old stash item} and, in person, it really does perk up the card.  It's a shame I can't get a picture of the pale gold card; it looks white {or vanilla} in the pictures, but it is a creamy gold and has a subtle shine to it.  Not ideal for pictures at all.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial {and I hope my Man likes his card; I'm sure he will!} and that you are having a fabulously creative week! Don't forget to stop by all of the Dies R Us blogs for more inspiration and creativity and maybe stop by the store for some new goodies ~ Fondly, Christi

Don't forget to join in on all the fun at the Dies R Us Challenge Blog.  
There's  a new challenge theme offered on the 1st and 15th of each month
 and one lucky  randomly drawn winner will receive a gift voucher prize to 
the Dies R Us Store.  For your convenience, all the important Dies R Us 

links are provided below.


click below for:

I am entering my Purple & Gold Valentine in the following challenges:
Cut it Up - #141, Layers of Love
The Die Cut Divas - M, Love is in the Air, #5
Scrapy Land - #83, Anything Goes