Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Card

I recently got the entire set of Tim Holtz’s Distress Markers from my good friend Janine who runs Alleystamp. I am a big comparison shopper and I do tons of research before I make a large purchase and her prices are fantastic, but it is her superior customer service that always brings me back to Alleystamp again & again. And if she doesn’t have exactly what you want she will get it for you and it doesn’t take weeks and weeks for you to get your stuff (and if for some reason it is going to take a while, Janine lets you decide what you’d like to do).  Anyway, I am in LOVE with these markers and have been playing with them like crazy.

One of the most recent cards I made using them is a Thanksgiving card for my Mom.  Since we landed in Colorado we have an interesting Thanksgiving dinner - we always get a few Papa Murphy’s pizzas the day before and feast on fresh baked pizza for our Thanksgiving meal!  Mom doesn’t have to cook at all (well, the oven does), the clean-up is super easy and everyone likes what there is to eat!  Talk about a win/win situation!  Since we cook the pizza at Mom’s, it is only polite to bring her something and, along with the pizza, this card will fit the bill. My Mom is legally blind due to glaucoma and luckily does have some limited sight left so she does best with cards that are clean and simple.  This is how I made her Happy Thanksgiving card:

To make the card you’ll need:

  • Card base of kraft cardstock
  • Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
  • Wendy Vecchi’s Archival Ink in Orange Blossom
  • Watercolor paper
  • Twine bow (I handmade a bunch of these a while ago out of some twine I saved from when I bought my Dollar Tree Skeletons)
  • Pumpkin from Tim Holtz Mini Blueprints 5 set, CMS170
  • Nellie’s Multi Frame, MFD010
  • Happy Thanksgiving stamp from a very old Hero Arts set (the set has four seasonal greetings in it)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Markers in Spiced Marmalade, Ripe Persimmon, Brushed Corduroy, Mustard Seed, Pumice Stone and Mowed Lawn
  • Watercolor Brush (I didn't have Tim Holtz's brush yet so I used an old dried out blender pen from Stampin' Up! - I just dipped it in the water for a smidge and colored)

First, I stamped the pumpkin with the Jet Black ink on the watercolor paper.  Then I outlined the pumpkin with the Distress Markers in the pumpkin colors (I’m sorry, I didn’t write down the exact order of when I used each color) and watercolor brushed them.  I colored the stem and the leaf with the Brushed Corduroy and the little stem squiggle with Mowed Lawn. Watercolor brush them as well.  Then I took the Pumice Stone and outlined the side of the pumpkin that has the leaf for a bit of dimension (I learned this trick from one of the many YouTube video’s I watched on using the Distress Markers – if you have these and are just using them to color I highly recommend watching some videos – you will be AMAZED at what these babies can do & how they coordinate with all the Distress Products – OK Ranger, how about making some Distress Markers to match Wendy’s colors?) I did not watercolor the Pumice Stone as I was afraid I'd ruin the whole pumpkin. As my pumpkin was drying I took my Happy Thanksgiving stamp and stamped it using Wendy Vecchi’s Orange Blossom, cut it out, edged it with the same ink and pop-dotted it to the inside of the card.  Then I took my pumpkin, found the Nellie die that fit it best and die cut it.  After I glued it to my card front, the finishing touch was attaching my twine bow.  The card was quick, fun and I think it looks very seasonal (even though we just had our first snow yesterday) and I know my Mom will love it.
The outside of the card
And the inside - the picture does NOT do the color justice 

I also apologize about how crooked it is - I had already filled out the card & sealed it in the envelope when I sat down to work on the pictures or I would have taken another.  Live & learn!

Here’s hoping you & yours have a fabulous holiday, be safe and blessings to you all!

I would like to enter my Thanksgiving card in the following challenges:
The Kraft Journal - So Thankful
Twisted Tuesday Challenge - Fall/Autumn, Thankful 
Use it Tuesday - Anything Goes (I have had the Happy Thanksgiving stamp in my stash for at least 10 years and this is the first time I have used it)
Craft-Dee BowZ - Anything with a Handmade Bow
Cuttlebug Mania - Thank You for Thanksgiving
LEJ Designs - Buttons, Bows or Beads 
Crafty Cardmakers - CAS

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful Card

I am trying to squeeze this one last “thanks” card before the holiday.  After I made this card I realized that it sort of looked like a turkey – that wasn’t my intent – LOL – but hey, if the turkey fits. . .

This is what I used to make my card:

  • Tim Holtz Mini Blueprints, SMS170, wheat (stamped 5 times)
  • Small alphabet stamp set – Studio G (sorry, I don’t have the font)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Markers in Brushed Corduroy, Mustard Seed & Gathered Twigs
  • Small water brush
  • Watercolor paper
  • Dark yellow base card
  • Brown shiny layer from DCWV The Luxury Stack
  • Orange cardstock
  • Brown cardstock
  • Dark brown cardstock
  • Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black

Start by stamping and coloring the wheat stamp 5 times on the watercolor paper - this VERY important since the Distress markers won't watercolor on regular cardstock. I stamped mine & colored them before I cut them out so they’d be right next to each other and I could try to get the color somewhat the same.  Once they are colored, cut out only the wheat stalk.  Then hand stamp THANKFUL with a small alphabet set on a piece of white cardstock.  Trim and mat on dark brown cardstock (I know it is a tad crooked, but the stamps I used are the old rubber stamps, remember the ones you couldn't see through & basically hoped they'd stamp straight? Well, there ya go).  
Here are my "turkey feather" wheat stalks prior to attaching them
Arrange the wheat stalks behind the sentiment in a fan shape (I taped them in place with removable tape so I could be sure nothing but what I wanted showed – then as I removed the tape, I glued my wheat to my sentiment).  Mat on the brown cardstock, then the orange, then the shiny brown (there is actually a beautiful paisley type design on the shiny cardstock but there was no way I could get a picture as you can barely see it in person) and lastly, mount on the dark yellow base card.

A close up of the sentiment and if you look very closely
you can see some of the pattern on the shiny cardstock
up in the left hand corner

This was the first card I made with my new stamp sets and the Distress Markers.  Have you ever bought a stamp set and one image spoke to you & screamed to be used first? For some reason the wheat stamp screamed to me and this is the result.
And the final result
Hope you enjoyed and please consider leaving me a comment. Blessings to you & yours!

Don't forget to pop on over to Anything But a Card and check
 out the current mini-challenge!

I would like to enter my Thankful Card in the following challenges:
Card Mania - Autumn Colors
The Paper Girls - It's Time to Give Thanks
Artistic Inspirations - Anything Goes
Sister Act Card Challenge - Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion - Thanksgiving/Thanks
Make it Monday - Anything Goes
2 Sisters Challenge Blog - Thank You

And, yes, I found these challenges at Challenges for Days - the blog that fulfills all your challenging needs (ok, maybe not ALL of them, but quite a few)!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fall Is In The Air Card

This card was a bit more work than usual but I feel the outcome was worth the it - I hope you agree! I formulated this card while looking through the many, many rub-ons I have.  I didn't use them for a long time for fear that I would do them "wrong", and I was certain they wouldn't work the way they were supposed to.  Surprise, surprise! Once I got over my fear I discovered how easy they are to use and almost impossible to mess up (mostly because you can check them before you are done to make sure they have rubbed-on correctly).  Perfect for a crafter like me.

Materials I Used  (of course feel free to use what you have in your stash):

  • 3 Decorative papers from Indian Summer Line from Basic Grey; Aspen, Maize & Plum Wine
  • 1 ¾ Square Punch
  • Homemade Background paper, using a white card stock base painted with Distress Paint (attached the squares to it), made with Distress Paint; Aged Mahogany, Crushed Olive, Scattered Straw, Gathered Twigs
  • Distress Marker Frayed Burlap
  • Distress Ink in Gathered Twigs
  • Scrap piece of off white cardstock for rub-on
  • Basic Grey Rub-on “Fall is in the Air” in wine color
  • Gold Paper for layer
  • Dark Orange card stock for layer
  • Square card in rusty brown
  • Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist Iridescent Gold

 The first thing I did when I made this card was punch out 4 squares with the square punch I had – for 3 of the squares I used the Basic Grey papers and each one was the same pattern but in different colors so I punched out the same part of the pattern from each color, then I punched one square out of some scrap vanilla card stock I had.  I applied the rub-on (for some reason the package has no identifying information on it, sorry about that!) to that square and sponged some Gathered Twigs ink around the corners, then edged it in Frayed Burlap using a Distress Marker.  Then I made the background that the squares are attached to, I used a scrap piece of white card stock and colored it with various Distress Paints (see list of colors above); it was really pretty, but I wanted to use other layers as well, so you can’t see the paper very well.  I adhered the 4 squares to that piece of paper once it dried.  I just eyeballed the spacing because I can’t be bothered using a ruler; I have tried to use a ruler in the past to perfectly and evenly space things, but it made me certifiably crazy, so now I just wing it.

I cut out another layer from some gold paper I had and then another layer out of a dark orange card stock. Typically, when I am making layers I just use my Fiskars Personal cutter and find an area on the clear guide and then cut all the sides of the paper with the same point of reference.  I just purchased a set of rulers made especially for making layers but haven’t had the time to play with them yet.  I’ll keep you posted.  I glued all the layers together and then glued them onto a Mahogany-Rusty-Brown (I can’t figure out what color the card looks like most, so you got all three) square card from my stash. 

Finally, I spritzed the whole thing lightly with the iridescent gold mist. The pictures of this card don’t do it justice as it is a very pretty card.  The gold layer and the Glimmer Mist are nice and subtle but I think they give the card that extra “zing”. NOTE: For some reason every picture I took made the rub-on look black, it isn't black, it is a wine color (like those leather jackets from the early 80's - LOL)
Close up of the rub-on

The finished card - shows off the subtle shine I think

 Thanks for looking and enjoy your day!

I would like to enter my card in the following challenges: 
4CraftyChicks - Anything Goes
DL A.R.T. - Anything goes
Penny's Challenges - Anything Goes
Challenges 4 Everybody - Anything Goes

~*~*~ Where did I find these AWESOME challenges??? They were listed in Challenges for Days ! ! !

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fall Leaves Wreath

Before I get into my post, I want to apologize for not being around these last few weeks.  One of my cats, Boo, had a serious health scare and I was very preoccupied with him.  Thankfully, it appears that he is going to be fine!  So, now, on with the show!

 I love the dollar store (in my area it’s called Dollar Tree) and on one of my visits I found these cute wreaths and fabric-like leaves.  The leaves come in a pack of 50, so of course I had to have 2 packs.  I decided that these would make a fabulous project for my introduction to the Design Team for Anything But a Card Challenge blog. Yes, my dear readers, I landed a design gig and I am SO excited as this will be my first time on a design team! I hope I make them proud!
The leaves & wreath before. . .
 OK, enough gushing, back to the project.  I took my wreath (it is small, measures approximately 8 ½” round) and pulled out my leaves & glue and went to work.  Those of you who can use a hot glue gun may want to try that instead of using regular glue like I did, I am glue gun challenged and can’t use one without causing a disaster (but that story is for another time). 

The beginning of the leafing. . .
What I did was spread the glue on the edges of the leaf and then I pushed the part of the leaf I wanted to attach through the wreath with a craft stick – I only glued the bottom of the leaves until I was almost done and added some more to fill in some spots.  On the fill in leaves, I glued the bottom edges and put a few dabs on the body of the leaf (of course all the glue was on the back of the leaves). 

All Leafed Up (wreath holding courtesy of Manny)
The Gluing of the letters
 Then I decided that I wanted to add the word fall to the wreath.  So I turned to my trusty Silhouette Cameo and made the word fall using a thick font.  Once I got a size I liked I also made a mirror image of it so I had 2 full sets of the word “FALL”.  I cut both of them out of different papers I had from Basic Grey.  Then I took the letters, put glue on one of them, placed a piece of string (that I also got at the Dollar Store) and sandwiched the string between the 2 letters so they could move and you’d see both sides. 
  After I finished with the letters, I placed them under a heavy book to really squish them together.  I then edged the letters with a Distress marker in Brushed Corduroy.

Now, I realized after I cut the letters, put them together and was getting ready to hang them that I cut them out wrong.  But I was going to hang them anyway – so I did.  I hung them and. . . I hated it. I didn't like that I had messed up the letters so if they twirled they wouldn't be right and I didn't like the way they looked hanging at all. Since I didn’t want to waste the letters so I cut the strings off and edged the tops with the Distress Marker so you can’t see the white string.  Then I experimented with placing the letters directly on the wreath and I really liked the way that looked, so I guess between me not cutting the letters correctly and then hating them hanging are my happy accidents.  I think the letters look better where I ended up placing them.  I used double stick tape to hold them and it worked perfectly! 
All Done!! (again Manny the Wreath holder is holding the wreath)
And a close up of my beautiful letters!
I would also like to enter my project in the following challenges:
Hiding in My Craft Room - Die Cuts (my letters - FALL - are die cuts)
CRAFTITUDE - Anything Goes or Falling Leaves
Addicted to Stamps and More! - Anything Goes
Fab 'N Funky - Anything Goes
Crafty Girls Challenges - Anything Goes
City Crafter Challenge Blog - Wreath

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Amazing Mold Putty & Clear Cast Resin

I recently purchased some cool products and I wanted to share my NEW favorite stuff, Amazing Mold Putty and Amazing Clear Cast resin. This material is SO much fun and really easy to use!  First, I made my molds – that only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish!  And you can use them for food – like when you make me some chocolates <grin>.  I had never used this sort of stuff before and I was nervous but the molds came out fabulous (I am not going to show you pictures because they are nothing to look at; they are all bumpy and patched and I’d rather have you see the molds that other people have made) and even where I pushed too hard and pierced the bottom of the mold (which I did like 300 times) all you have to do is mix a bit more of the mold putty and patch the hole!  The molds also remain flexible, kind of like rubber, so you can work out your piece without worrying about breaking the mold like you do with some other molding material (and they say on their site that this is great for 2 part molds but I have yet to build up the courage to try one).

Now the resin – I am not the best at playing with stuff that can be dangerous or difficult to use so this was a real test for me.  I mixed up the resin, poured it in the molds I had made and waited about 18 hours for the resin to cure (the directions say to leave the resin anywhere from 24 – 48 hours, but it also cures faster in heat and as some of you know, it was as hot as Hades here in Colorado when I was playing) and then I just bent the molds and out popped the resin castings.  I am SO impressed with myself that first, it worked for me and second that I did it without harming myself, my rug or anything else (THAT is a miracle - trust me!) Since it was so easy, I knew I had to share a few of my castings.

This is the first one I made - no easy going for me!
It is a small frame & due to the nature of the design
the putty stuck in places & the mold was ruined.
Gee, maybe I should have tried something a bit easier?

A leaf made from an earring, the bird is from a charm

This stuff is not cheap but you get a TON of it – I am already saving for my next batch of the putty as I did ruin some by waiting too long to mold it but I do have enough resin to coat my entire room if I choose <grin> - and that is even with me mixing too much (I forget that you are effectively doubling the amount you make because you mix the 2 equal parts) but I made some squigglys and dots and stuff with the resin that wouldn’t fit in my molds (I used a drip on my Halloweenie Shadow Box; I used it to make it look like there was blood running down the box and you can see that HERE).  One suggestion I can give is that is you have a non-stick craft mat USE IT! That way if you overflow your molds (like I did every single time) you can just pick off the resin once it is dry.  And, if you have extra resin, you can use it to make your own squigglys and designs.

Flower made from a pin 

I encourage you to go check out the website (for me, the products section helped the most to narrow down what I wanted to explore & then I watched the videos) and be warned, this stuff is addicting!  Also, sign up for their blog, they share some amazing projects and they are always running specials! I hope you enjoyed my post ~

Skull made from the head of one
of the Dollar Tree Skeletons

Since I wrote this post Alumilite Products has introduced Amazing Mold Rubber – this is definitely my next craft purchase! NOTE: I did not receive any compensation for this post.  Blessings to you & yours ~

 Two different bat charms that I made into molds
You can't really see the detail on the smaller one,
but it's there! I used the larger bat on my Halloween
Shadow Box - you can see that HERE