Friday, October 19, 2018

Happy Owl-O-Ween with Hero Arts

Thank you for stopping by to read my very first post as a Design Team member for a2z Scrapbooking - I am SO excited! I have been a customer of Hero Arts since the '90s and adore their products.  After I read about the special mission that a2z Scrapbooking store has, my heart got even happier! 
I'd love it if you'd join us this month's challenge; the theme is "Frightfully Fun" and I've chosen to work with a set that is brand new this year:

What I Used to Make my Card:
Black Card Base
Lindy's Stamp Gang Jack 'O Lantern Orange Embossing Powder
Hero Arts Happy Owl-O-Ween Stamps, #CM285
Hero Arts Happy Owl-O-Ween Dies, #DI545
Crafter's Workshop 6" x 6" Branches Reversed Stencil, #TCW251
Hero Arts Intense Black Ink {request a custom order or get an ink stack!}
Ranger Adirondack Ink in Mushroom {discontinued - any light brown ink would work}
Mini Distress Ink in Hickory Smoke
Die-Namics Stitched Fishtail Sentiment Strips
VersaMark Ink
Hero Arts Clear Embossing Powder, #PW106
Dimensional Dots

If you are a regular reader of my blog you know how much I LOVE Halloween; this stamp set was a must have as soon as I saw it!  To me when you can use a product for more than one thing, it's a win win in my book.  Even though the set is called Happy Owl-O-Ween, it can be used in so many ways, even for Christmas!  I started this card by grabbing a panel of white card from my desk, laying the stencil on it, and inking away.  I'm not sure what type of paper it was but the ink was not drying so I sprinkled clear embossing powder on it and handled that issue.  While the stenciled paper was cooling, I set to work on my owl.

I layered the owl with 3 different inks; honestly, whatever combination you have on hand works.  Once it was inked, I cut it with the matching die.  I trimmed the stenciled panel down to size; effectively trimmed off all the inky finger prints I left when I realized the ink wasn't drying.  Then I decided to get brave and I
Another Peek
stamped the sentiment directly onto the stenciled panel with embossing ink, embossed it with the orange embossing powder {I purchased the entire Haunted Halloween Embossing Powder set}, and realized it was totally crooked once it was embossed.  Total fail.  I regrouped and repeated the procedure on a piece of spare white card, die cut the banner, and attached it directly over the crooked sentiment.  I love it when I can save a project like that! 

By this time my owl was ready to be perched upon a branch so I used a dimensional dot to put him {why a him? I don't know - it looks like a male owl to me} in the tree.  I adhered the panel onto a black card base and there was my Happy Owl-O-Ween card!

Now I must say a bit more about a2z Scrapbooking; right under the listing of products on the left side of the store site is a black button that says Customer Order:

Basically this means you can order ANY Hero Arts product and get it sent to you directly if the store doesn't have the product you need.  Unlike some stores, you will get a reply typically within 24 hours about what you are looking for.  To me that is a HUGE time saver!  Now you can buy all your Hero Arts goodies in one place AND you get a free gift with every order over $50!  If that isn't enticing enough for you, how about a discount?  I have my own discount code! Just add CHRISTI15 to the discount box at checkout and you will save 15%!  

I sincerely hope you enjoyed my little tutorial. I hope to see your "Frightfully Fun" projects on the blog.  If you use a Hero Arts and/or Sugar Tree product and get chosen as the winner, you'll receive a $20 gift certificate to the store! Now you don't have to use Hero Arts and/or Sugar Tree, but why not?  If this is your first time here, why not subscribe so you don't miss one of my spectacularly funny and informative posts?  You can even follow me on multiple social media platforms; all the info and links are on the right hand side.  Thanks so much, see you at the challenge and Happy Owl-O-Ween! 
I would like to enter my Happy Owl-O-Ween card in the following challenges:
Little C's Creations - M, different theme each day, Day 18, Bird
Sunny Day Crafting - Anything Goes w/ an Animal
2 Crafty Critter Crazies - #19, Anything Goes with a Critter
Crafty Animals - M, #19, Anything Goes w an Animal
YNS Fun Friday Challenge - #100, Make a Scene
Craft Rocket - M, #53, Autumn/Halloween
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Animal Antics
Fussy and Fancy - #223, Things with Wings
Unicorn Challenge - M, #37, Halloween or Autumn

First time for me entering this challenge - she has a different theme everyday that matches the month we are in - very cool concept - I'll be playing again!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

You put a Spell on Me

I've had the items to make this card for quite a while - over a year to be exact, and it's been percolating in my head for just as long.  It was time to clean out the cobwebs and make some of those "I wonder how this would  look" cards.  Plus, it was a very quick card to make and could actually be used any time of year; however, I never pass up a chance to make something spooky!

What I Used to Make My Card:
White Card Base
Hero Arts Luna the Halloween Cat Stamp Set, #CM202
Hero Arts My Monthly Hero August 2017 Frame Die
Black Card
Silver Glitter Card
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Removable Tape

The first step I took in making this card was to cut the frame out of black card, trim it down, then place it onto the white card, marking {well, actually just kind of eyeing} where I wanted the saying to go.  I use a little trick when I have to be absolutely positive a sentiment is placed perfectly {like, to peek out of a window or it fits just perfectly in one spot} when using a frame die.  Once the die is cut, I use removable tape and make a hinge; that way the frame will stay put and I don't have to commit to the placement of the frame until after the stamping has been done.  

I finished off the card by cutting some silver glitter card using the frame die and I attached a few of the stars and dots in the sentiment area.  I love that this card is spooky but could actually be given to someone any time of year.  I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial and thank you so much for the visit.  ~ Fondly, Christi

I'd like to enter my You Put a Spell on Me card in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Starry Sky
Just Us Girls - #462, Celestial Elements
Just for Fun - M, Halloween
Scrapy Land - Anything Goes {100th Challenge Celebration}
Try it on Tuesday - Halloween
Dies R Us - #107, Anything Fall
Bastel-Traum - #70, Autumn/Halloween
Cards in Envy - Favorite Holiday
City Crafter - #434, Halloween

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Laminate Chip Ornaments ~ Oldies but Goodies

I was looking at some of my older {these are at least 8 years old - some of them even older than that} creations today and I came across a bunch of these Formica™ and/or Laminate Chip Sample Ornaments.  Back when using these chips was all the rage, I emailed one of the companies and somehow ended up with a huge box of discontinued samples, all different colors and sizes.  I remember feeling like I hit the jackpot!  In fact, I still have a bunch of them somewhere - I should dig them out and figure out another project for them.  

Years back I used to make a small ornament every year and I've gotten out of the habit.  However, I've just ordered a bunch of teeny little embroidery hoops and I hope to create something festive out of those for this year.  My sister has a tiny little Christmas tree that she puts up and she has all the little ornaments that I've made over the years decorating it.  I think it's time to make her a new one.

There really is no "how to" on these; just use whatever you have on hand.

Take a look at these oldies but goodies:

I used Dresden trim, buttons, and an old pin on these.

This one was made with a sequin tree and a bunch of iridescent little circles.  I remember making the sentiments using Publisher - I obviously hand cut this one!

Another button, sequin, and hand made sentiment ornament.  I think I still have some of that background paper somewhere.

This one is using ribbon and Dresden trim - the snowflake and gold lines are the ribbon.  I just ripped a hole in it to accommodate the string. 

Those are the only pictures I have left of the many ornaments I made.  I didn't think the same way I do today; I never thought I'd have a blog or ever show these publicly.  Thinking back on what my life was like when I was making these was a fun little visit back in time.  I hope you enjoyed visiting with me and if you have any chip ideas, please share them with me!  ~Fondly, Christi

I'd like to enter my Laminate Chip Sample Ornaments in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything But a Card {entry #3}
The Happy Craft Challenge - M, Anything Goes
Creative Artiste - M, #43, Anything Mixed Media Goes
Crafter's Castle - M, #10, Anything Goes OPTION:Winter
An Inky Mess - M, #23, Anything Mixed Media Goes
Altered Eclectics - M, Anything Mixed Media Goes 
The Cat's Pajamas - M, #351, Holiday

Monday, October 15, 2018

My Spooky Haunted House

I make at least one 3D project every Halloween and this is one of this year's creations.  I actually put the house together last year, but I made it after Halloween.  I simply set it up on my bookcase and waited not so patiently for this year to roll around.  I did add all the little embellishments to the house this year, I guess I needed a break after making it! This post is wordy, so grab a snack; you just might get stuck in the Haunted House!

What I Used to Make my Haunted House:
Black Cardstock 
Tim Holtz/Sizzx Village Dwelling, #660992
Tim Holtz/Sizzx Village Manor, #661591
Tim Holtz/Idea-o-logy Paper Dolls, Ancestors, #TH93723
Alcohol Ink in Butterscotch, #TIM21964 {any antique looking color would work}
Grey Card
Silver Brads {small}
Assorted Spooky Stuff from My Stash {pumpkin, ghost}
The bat & the black cat were gifts 

I love little houses!  I remember as a child we used to have a entire village set
Top of the House - the bat has
sparkly eyes
up at Christmas time on top of television set - yes, back in the day when you actually could put stuff on your television!  I enjoy Halloween much more than any holiday, so instead of making another Putz house, I made this house.  And I am not giving this one away!

Front of the House

I didn't take any pictures during the construction of my house, mostly because I honestly wasn't sure it would even be blog worthy.  Thank goodness I didn't try to make a video - it would have been full of beeps!  I admire people who can craft something like this without a bump in the road; my road was so bumpy I could barely stay on it!  But, all the work, aggravation, irritation, and swearing was worth it. I also knew that the lovely and talented Tim Holtz had put out videos on making these houses, so why duplicate efforts?  

Here is the video that Tim put out to make the initial Village Dwelling - if you don't have these dies and want to get them, watch this video first {plus, do a Google search on both of them; there are multiple places to purchase them much more cheaply than the above link to Sizzix.}  I went & bought the extender pads before I watched this video {I didn't know that much about die cutting and I knew I wanted these dies to work perfectly} because it turns out you don't need to spend the extra money - I honestly don't even know where mine are.  Also, here's the video Tim did using the Village Manor, which is much better than any pictures I could have taken.  
Poor guy!

Once the house was constructed, I used the alcohol ink to age some acetate, cut it up into squares, and taped it behind all the windows.  I was initially going to put a battery tea light inside, but the way the house is made doesn't allow for one where I wanted to put it.  When the light was at the bottom, you could barely see it, so that idea was out.  Instead, I put a man in one window and some feisty looking witches on the side of the house.  I found the brads, black cat, pumpkin, and ghost figure in my stash. I suspect the pumpkin is a Tim Holtz/Idea-o-logy product from a bit back.  I LOVE Halloween so much, I buy a ton of little embellishments and then pack them away.  I have the "I don't want to use this in case I can never find it
again" syndrome when I try to use any of them.  So, they sit, year after year, packed up so nicely.  And every year I swear I'm going to use them.  Ha ha ha - I lie to myself too much!  In any case, once the last details were adhered to the house, I was done.  

I thank you for stopping by to read my post.  I can't really call this a tutorial as I didn't really tell you how to make anything but, at the very least, you got to see that the house can be made! Have a wonderful day ~ fondly, Christi

I am entering my Spooky Haunted House in the following challenges:
Die Cut Diva's - M, Autumn and Halloween
Dream in Darkness - M, HALLOWEEN!!!
Scrap from Your Heart - M, #26, Use Dies
Dies R Us - #107. Anything Fall 
Crop Stop - M, Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything But a Card {entry 2}
Frilly and Funkie - Haunted Halloween

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sending Hugs and Prayers. . .

A friend in one of the many Facebook groups has had to put her husband, who she has been with for 48 years, into Hospice.  When asked what we, as a group, could do for her, she requested cards.  This is the one I made for her:

What I Used to Make my Card:
Vanilla Card Base
Watercolor Paper
Zig Clean Color Markers
Simon Says Stamp Beautiful Flowers Stamp, #SSS101826
Hero Arts Stamp & Cut Sympathy, #DC183
Hero Arts Pink Tourmaline Ink {only available in the MMH December 2017 kit}
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Pink Cardstock
Sequins {from stash}

I began by stamping the flowers onto a panel of watercolor paper using black ink.  Then I colored the flowers using my Zig Clean Color Markers.  Once the flowers were colored, I sorted through my papers to find one that matched the flowers, then cut the word "prayers" using the die included in the Stamp & Cut set.

Then I stamped the rest of the sentiment using the Bubble Gum ink, placed various sequins around the card, {I used some clear, pink, and white sequins} and the card was finished.  I am very pleased with how the card came out and I hope that it brings some joy to her and her family.

I am awful at making sympathy cards.  I never know what to say, what to write, what colors to use; I generally work myself into a frenzy of complete and utter self doubt.  I tried something new making this one.  I chose a pretty stamp and
Another Look
just went with what felt right.  Since the recipient is a card maker herself, {and honestly, one of the most creative people I know} I worried about every little mistake I made.  Then I realized that she wouldn't be scrutinizing my card; she'd be gaining comfort that someone felt enough for her that they took the time to make it.  I really need to concentrate on that rather than the imperfections.  After all, when I get a card that someone has sent me, I KNOW what that person did; I know the concern, self doubt, the traps we set up for ourselves.  And I just enjoy the card.  I don't look for mistakes.  I feel happy and loved.  That is going to be my thing for 2019.  Enjoy the process and know I am going to make someone happy.  Isn't that what life is all about?

Thank you for stopping by to view my card.  I appreciate every one of you! Fondly, Christi

I am entering my Sending Hugs and Prayers card in the following challenges:
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - M, #108 - Use Dies and/or Punches
The Flower Challenge - #25, Add Sparkle
The Artistic Stamper - M, Inktober {and happy 8th Blogaversary!}
Dream Valley Challenges - #188, Flowers
Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes
Scrapy Land - #99, Anything Goes w/ A brand they carry {Hero Arts}
Make It, Take It - M, Anything Goes
Colour Crazy Craft Challenge -  Anything Goes
Just Add Ink - #430, Inspirational Challenge, graphic below
Inkspirational Challenge - #171, Word Prompt - Comfort {graphic below}
Happy Little Stampers Anything Goes with Dies - M, Anything Goes {graphic below}

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Spooky Wall Hanging

I am fortunate enough to be on the Design Team for Not Just Cards and up until now I have always created cards for my projects.  The theme every month is Anything Goes, so I decided to get a bit creative. My very favorite holiday, Halloween {in case you didn't know}, is around the corner so I felt it was time to share a wall hanging I made:

What I Used to Make my Wall Hanging:
Blick Canvas Panel, 5" x 7" {any brand will work}
Authentique Spirited 12" x 12" Paper Pad {retired but available}
Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover in Gloss Black
Foam Board {from the Dollar Tree}
Skeleton Top Hat Frame - designed by a friend; if you want info, let me know!
Vanilla Card
Stitched Rectangle Stax by Tutti Designs, #TUTTI-217
Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Gothic Cling Foam Stamps, #TH93618 {available}
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Stamp Platform by TimHoltz/Tonic, #1707E

This was super easy; and really, any low profile metal die will cut out the foam board.  Think of ALL the fabulous keepsakes you can make! I know this little wall hanging has my creative juices flowing and I am thinking of many more dies I can use to make wall hangings, framed decor, and so much more!  

The first step for this project was to cut the skeleton head out of the foam board.  Using spray paint to color the die cut was SO fast and so much easier than trying to use regular acrylic paints - which is what I would have done in the past.  Just ensure you have the entire cut covered; any white spots will be glaring.  After I sprayed the die a few times, letting it dry thoroughly between coats, I set it aside.  One tip I will pass along for those who aren't familiar with spray painting {personally, I hadn't sprayed anything besides gesso - which I don't recommend - in YEARS} is to wear plastic gloves on both hands.  Not only did my index finger on my right hand turn black but I forgot the item was wet and moved it with my left hand!  Additionally, if you need to stand the item up or turn it around {and you are anything like me} you will forget and both of your hands will be painted.  This stuff is NOT easy to get off, but it does eventually wear off {thank goodness!}

Meanwhile, I covered my 5" x 7" panel with spooky paper and edged around the sides with black ink to give it an aged look.  The stamping of the word took the most work, but it really wasn't as difficult as I anticipated it would be.  The particular set only has one of each letter, so to get my spacing correct, I laid out the letters S, P, O, Q, K, Y,  then I carefully removed the Q, stamped the remaining letters onto the card, and just put the O in the space provided by the Q - I was very proud of myself!  And I think the letters look perfect!  Then I die cut a stitched rectangle around the
Another Look - this one is
shiny - which do you prefer?
letters to be attached to the panel. 

The skeleton hat frame was all dry so I glued that onto the panel and then attached the words below.  Since this panel had no hanger, I used a pop top from a soda can and glued that on with E6000.  Once it was dry, I just bent the tab forward a bit and there you have a hanging decoration for Halloween or, in my house, all year round!  I hope to see your creations, whatever they may be, at the challenge at Not Just Cards.  Remember, the theme is always Anything Goes so get a bit creative and enter your projects!  You never know, you might just win! Thank you SO much for stopping by! 

I have a fabulous friend, NanaConnie {I am sure you've seen her around Blogland}, who graciously edits my posts so I sound much smarter than I really am and I'd LOVE it if you'd pop over to her blog and give her some love!  Just click Grammy's Attic and you'll be there.  She posts nearly every day and her makes are fabulous!  You won't be sorry -- but she can't edit for you, she is all booked up with ME. :)  (Editor's Note: I adore Christi and I paid her to say that! :-D NC)

Thank you so much for your continued support. ~ Fondly, Christi

I am entering my Spooky Wall Hanging in the following challenges:
The Corrosive Challenge Blog - M, #10, Anything Goes
Cut it Up -#158, Halloween Project that Includes Dies
Take it, Make it - M, Anything Goes
Dream in Darkness - M, The BEST Month of the YEAR {I SO agree!!}
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything But a Card
Die Cuttin' Divas - 3D Projects
Happy Little Stampers Mixed Media - M, Men {my skull is a guy!}

Monday, October 8, 2018

Autumn Shaker Card

It's October and at Die Cut Diva's the challenge this month is Halloween or Autumn; and to top it off, the lovely Dies R Us is sponsoring us and giving away a $10 voucher!

I've made quite a few shakers cards and I have to admit, this is one of my very favorites.  The entire card was easy, there were no mistakes or mess ups, and I am so happy with how the front of the card looks.  To me, this card has all the elements of a fabulous card; it's a long tutorial, so you may want to go to the bathroom and grab a drink, maybe even a snack. :)  Without further ado, here is my card and how I made it:

What I Used to Make my Card
White Card Base
Handmade Alcohol Ink Paper
Tutti Designs Maple Vine Frame, #TUTTI-139
Light Gold Paper
Craft Foam Board {Dollar Tree or local dollar store} Called Readi-Board
Tutti Designs Stitched Nested Rectangles, #TUTTI-217
Embossing Powder - Not So Rusted Penny by the Powder Keg (bought by PK                                    Glitz, then purchased by Stamp On It!)
Hero Arts My Monthly Hero Kit, September, 2018, sentiment
Simon Says Stamp Embossing/Watermark Pad
Acetate {you can use packaging, projector sheets, or the stuff they sell especially for shaker cards}
Red Double Stick Tape

I began this card by making the alcohol ink paper first.  I used glossy paper and various alcohol inks, some from Ranger, some from Jacquard  {specifically the PiƱata Colors} and some very old Pantone inks, which are the refills for the Letraset Tria markers {which are now known as ProMarker, and has been
purchased by Winsor & Newton.}  I did not keep track of the colors I used; I just chose the ones that looked the most like fall and autumn colors to me.  I did, however, make the marks I made with the inks purposely small.  I didn't want the die to cut out a hunk of one color and none of the other.  Another item I used was the Gold Mixative by Tim Holtz and Ranger.  A little dab of that goes a long way and it gave the paper a golden sheen, if the light catches it correctly.  I made a bunch of backgrounds while playing with my inks, as I typically do, and I'm going to be trying the Alcohol Lift Ink soon to see if it works with glossy paper as well as it does when it's used with YUPO paper.  I do have a small bit of YUPO but I always forget about it when I'm playing with my alcohol inks.  OK, enough about the inks, let's carry on! 

Once the paper I'd made was fully dry, I used the Maple Vine Frame to cut out some of the paper.  I was SO tickled that it came out as beautifully as it did and I really feel the key was using small dabs of the ink.  Once I had the frame cut, I put it aside.  I adhered the light gold paper to my craft foam board, figured out which rectangle die fit it the best and, once the glue was dry, proceeded to cut a gold frame.  I had tried to make the frame by cutting the craft foam, then cutting the paper, and then tried to match it up.  Even though I taped my dies together, I could NOT get the two pieces to play nicely.  That's why I glued the paper onto the craft foam board.  The Maple Vine cut out is attached to this frame so I have the walls for the shaker.  I glued the acetate to the top of the gold frame and attached the Maple Vine to that.  I set that aside, under the tile on my desk, for overnight to ensure there was a good solid connection - I know acetate can be stubborn when you use a wet adhesive.
The Readi Board Label

The next day I took a white card base and added the sentiment, which I embossed with a fabulous powder called Not So Rusted Penny.  It's a perfect fall color; bits of brown, rust, and flecks of gold; the pictures do not do it justice!  Once the sentiment was done and cooled, I got the bright idea to use double stick red tape to put the frame onto the card.  I pinched a bunch of sequins and piled them on top of the sentiment; attached the red tape to my frame, managed to get it as straight as I could, and attached it.  It was all fine and dandy, but I had forgotten that some of the tape would be sticking out, where it didn't quite have the frame cover it all.  So, with my first shake a billion sequins got stuck on the tape.  Fortunately, there were {and are} still some loose sequins so the card can be shaken, but I can tell you I won't be making THAT mistake again.

All in all, I am very proud of the card.  When I look at the alcohol ink paper I
Here is a sparkly pictuer
made, and then at the frame, it's hard to believe that the paper made that frame!  This is one of the first times I've been happy with an alcohol ink background the first try.  I usually mess up the colors and they don't cut as nicely as I see it in my head, but this was successful!  Of course, having all the sequins bobbing about in the card would have been nice, but that's the charm of handmade, right?!?  Yes, I say that a lot.  It makes me feel better.  Well, I hope you enjoyed my tutorial.  You can see more examples of my shaker cards here and here.  I've used both craft foam and craft board and I can't see a difference in the final outcome of the card; the foam board is much cheaper, so I'll be sticking with that for a while.  I'd love to see your Halloween or Autumn makes in the challenge; just link up here at Die Cut Diva's! And don't forget, our sponsor, Dies R Us carries SO much more than just dies! Take good care and thank you for stopping by! Fondly, Christi

I am entering my card in the following challenges:
Die Cuttin' Divas - #390, 3D projects
Papercraft Challenges - M, #22, Dies and/or Punches
{PIN}spirational - #226, Photo Inspiration (see below)
Unicorn Challenge - M, #37, Autumn or Halloween
Addicted to Stamps - M, #167, Autumnal Colors
Creative Friday - #215, Shaker Card
Simply Create Too - M, #143, Make a Shaker Card
Moving Along with the Times - M, #81, Autumn/Fall
DL Art - Thankful Thursday - #236, Fall Colors