Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Following in Footsteps

Well, it is official! My daughter has the crafting gene too. This is a photo of her with her winning entry at the state Junior Beta convention. Beta is an honor society for grades 6-12.We had talked about what she might create and I gave her some wire to practice with. She began to make a prototype and then tweaked it. We talked about it some more and then I went to bed. The next morning when I woke up, she almost had this completed. You could have knocked me over with a feather! Didn't she do a great job?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

MoreTags From Swap

I just wanted to show you some more tags from the swap before taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. These came from stampintara. Didn't she make some cute things?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Beautiful Tags

Ladies, I just wanted to show you some of the Christmas tags that I received from the tag swap over at Splitcoast. The top row were made by Laurabelle and the bottom row by Jillgunter. Aren't these great. The green and pink tag reminds me of a ceramic mold that I have for Christmas ornaments. Is it a tag or is it an ornament. It could be both. I'll post some photos of the other tags soon. Enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Christmas Tags

It was a Whirlwind week last week and now I hope to catch my breath. Everything is going to be okay with my Dad. Thanks for asking. We signed a contract to buy a Victorian home so we will be busy making general repairs, adding a bathroom or two, adding more to the electrical system and renovating the exterior to make this home a painted lady once again. Whew are we going to be busy and so will our contractor.

Remember this snowman tag? He needed something else but I didn't know what to do with him. I added more color to his hat and scarf with watercolor pencils. Vellum was added and snowflakes were stamped with watermark ink so that heat and stick powder would adhere dazzling diamonds glitter. I also used silver ink on the brilliant blue layer with stamped snowflakes. Such an improvement don't you think? I sent these in for the tag swap along with some tags with a vintage look.

Here I used handsome hunter as the base layer and created a border with a gold gel pen. Next came a layer of plaid Christmas 12x12 paper. The top layer is bravo burgundy which has been embossed with gold embossing powder using the Keep Christmas stamp set from Stampin' Up! I finished it all off with a tab using the round tab punch and bright shiny gold card stock and a gold eyelet. The Holly was stamped on always artichoke and highlighted with a gold gel pen.

I hope you stop by and let me know what you think! Happy stamping!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Life Happened

I had anticipated posting more last week but life happened. My Dad was unexpectedly hospitalized for a few days. We are waiting for some test results but think that things are okay now.

We are still house hunting so time has been a bit limited. There are just too many things to do and not enough hours in the day. I have been wanting to get into the stamp room this week but it just hasn't happened.

I just read Jen's post on her blog. Guess what! She has added part 3 to her Bloga and it's worth the read. Pop over there right now and LOL!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dangle, Dangle!

Today is a jewelry day instead of a cropping day. Yes I have been making more earrings. Sterling silver and glass beads make good partners. these will be part of a fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. Tell me which is your favorite and why.

Tag You're It

I had just completed two sets of tags for a Christmas tag swap that Heidi organized when she tagged my blog. She makes some really cute stuff so go check out her blog.
So, now that I have been tagged I have to do the following:

1. Link to the person that tagged you
2. Post 7 random/weird facts about yourself on your blog (cause we all want to know how weird you are!)
3. Tag 7 people at the end and link to their blog
4. Leave comments on each blog that you tag so that they know!

7 Weird facts!

1. I listen to music, read, or watch TV to fall asleep at night.

2. I carry a purse in a purse. Yep! You know the wallet purse on a strap? I carry that in my handbag so that when I go shopping, I can just pull out the wallet and shop without a heavy bag on my shoulder.

3. Plants are easier to get along with than people. I give my plants what they need to grow and they flourish. They don't complain either so I have tons of plants and a much smaller group of friends.

4. I really like Asian food of all types. Sushi, Thai, Chinese..... Yum! I could eat it every day.

5. I like to have things just so. I spend a lot of time decorating and creating vignettes in my house and garden.

6. I like to listen to Christian contemporary music while I crop. Turn up Phillips, Craig and Dean and get stamping! I sing off key too!

7. I don't like to listen to other people eat. My spouse has a way of making soft food sound crunchy. How does he do that?

Whew! I was beginning to think that I wouldn't get through that!

I am tagging these folks because I read their blogs and appreciate their work.

Tandra she creates really pretty things and has a great sense of humor!

Faith The spray and smash technique that I posted last week is her brain child.

Adelina at Well Said Cards has some great things to check out.

Mary does beautiful watercolor and Gamsol work.

Jen at Inking Along is always a good read. If you need to laugh, read her bloga part 1 & 2.

Wanda has a bit of this and that. Great cards!

Lynn she has stamperosity!


Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Oops! I forgot to post yesterday! Well....not really. I was leaving the phone line open for a call that never came. Don't you just hate that? You wait and wait and the phone doesn't ring when it is supposed to. Are you wondering why I am not using high speed Internet access? Well, things happen slowly around these parts. This will probably be the last place in the U.S. to get high speed Internet access. LOL!
Isn't this cute? Does it look familiar? Looks similar to the party favor cone on page 17 of the November 2007 issue of Stampin' Success doesn't it? This was a swap from Claire during the Kalidagal sleep over. (see previous posts) I think she did a great job and the color combo was great! This is SU! prints designer series paper in Rose Red and the Perfect Presentation stamp set. The ribbon looks like Wild Wasabi double stitched in color series. The jumbo eyelet is also from SU!

Friday, October 26, 2007

More Potter's Ranch Fun

I just wanted to show you a few more items that some of the Kalidagals created. This card was created by Dena Faulkner. She has a way about glitzing up a card and making things elegant.

The round box was done by Karen Faber. Isn't it adorable? a hole may be punched in the side of the tin and it may be hung as a Christmas ornament! These ladies are just so talented!
Both projects were done using Stampin' Up! materials except for the round box itself and the shiny gold card stock on the Christmas card.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spray and smash Background

This is a cute little fall card that I made trying the spray and smash background technique. You can check out Stampin with Markie's Mom blog for the instructions.

1. The card is SU! Always Artichoke that has been stamped with a leaf stamp in a watermark ink.
2. Next I added the background paper that I made with the spray and smash technique.
3. The next layer is SU! Cranberry Crisp that has also been stamped with a different leaf in watermark ink.
4. The top layer is the House Mouse floating on a leaf stamp by stampabilities. It is stamped on white card stock with black stazon ink and then colored using the Gamsol technique. If you need more info, here is another tutorial. I used Prismacolor pencils for the red and burgundy colors. The other colors are just some Rose Art pencils that I have had for a while. If you want true reds and not pink, use the Prismacolors.
5. Stamp the phrase in cranberry crisp ink on white CS.
6. Sponge with mellow moss on the phrase and the around the mouse stamp.
7. Add lines on mouse CS with a forest green colored pencil and then attach to the other layers of the card.
8. Cut a narrow strip of always artichoke and attach to the right side of the Spray and Smash background.
9. Add gold cording around this strip and tie a bow.
10. Attach this background to the card front.
11. Trim the phrase and back with always artichoke that has been trimmed to the same shape as the phrase.
12. Use a gold gel pen and add a decorative line around the phrase.
13. Place stampin! dimensionals on the back of the phrase and attach to the front of the card.

HAPPY STAMPING! Let me know how your project turns out and be sure to post a link to your finished work of art!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Kalidagals Creative Time and Turkey Card

I went to northern Kentucky this past weekend for some creative cropping with Ann Lightner's Stampin' Up! Kalidagals. We met at Potter's Ranch in Union Kentucky. The food was good, the fellowship great and much fun was had by all. I enjoyed meeting everyone for the first time and have decided to share some of the work done by the Kalidagals here on my blog over the next few days.
Once the whirlwind cropping event was over, I headed down to the Louisville area to visit with family for a few days. It was great to see everyone even though the visit was short. The shopping was productive and some new Christmas decorations were acquired. I shopped on the way home and finally picked up a paint can that I hope to decorate in the near future.
Isn't this turkey card adorable? Ann had these all cut and ready to be assembled. Everything needed to make these can be found in the Stampin' Up catalog.
List of supplies:
God's Blessings Stamp Set
Leaf Prints Wheel
Chocolate Chip ink (I think)
Close to Cocoa card stock
More Mustard CS
Pumpkin Pie CS
Old Olive CS
Creamy Caramel CS
Really Rust CS
Ruby Red CS
More Mustard Grosgrain ribbon
Designer series Apple Cider paper
Black Marker Pen
Small Oval Punch
1" Circle Punch
3/4" Circle Punch
1/8" Circle Punch
Here is a view with the card opened up. I think this is so adorable don't you? Thanks Ann!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Time to Pitch In

Did you know that one of our stamping bloggers in blog land has lost nearly everything in her summer house? If you would like to send her some new supplies, just visit Deb at the Stampingranny blog to find out more details. It would be nice to send some supplies to a fellow stamper and spread a little Random Act of Kindness don't you think?

Cube and Clover

I finished these a few weeks ago and have been wearing them constantly. Remember when I said that the watches sparkle even more if you pair it with a bracelet on the same wrist? Well, I have been wearing this one with my silver and crystal watch and it looks great!
The sterling silver toggle clasp came from a Bali bead company in Indonesia. The 8 mm cube beads are dressed with a cap on each end and wired together with 18 gauge half hard round sterling silver wire. I just did a simple wire wrap technique on each end. The same is done with the 6mm Swarovski bicone beads. Don't forget to link the beads together before you close the wire wrap. The clover was made on the jig using medium size pegs and then gently hammered to harden. It was rather easy to put together but a bit time consuming.
The earrings were made by using a fine Bali head pin and two different cap beads. They were finished by using the wire wrap technique and then placed on a French wire.
The photo does not do justice to these pieces. The mix of modern with old has proved to be quite popular.
Happy Beading!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Snowman Tags

I have been stuck on these little guys for several weeks. I am just not happy with them yet. There has to be something more I can do to them! I know they can be the most adorable things but I have a creative block. A new set of eyes need to look at these. Any suggestions?

This is what I have done so far. The Stampin' Up! Frosty stamp set was used on white CS and stamped with brilliant blue ink. Next I went over the snowman body with blue glitter glue. I masked off the snowman and stamped a snowflake stamp with Versamark then I added heat and stick powder along with some glitter. The brilliant blue CS was stamped with a snowflake stamp in Versamark watermark ink.

What should I do next?

Monday, October 8, 2007

In the Pink

Good morning! Today I am featuring another lapel pin. Again the pin was created with a single length of sterling silver wire with beads added to the structure. It is difficult to see by the photo but there are five different shaped beads on this piece. It adds needed texture and interest. This looks great on a blazer lapel or light weight jacket. The movement and sparkle as it catches the light is really great! Have you been beading or been inspired by one of my pieces. Please leave a comment and let me know that you have stopped by to take a peak! Enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Brocade Blue Hybrid

I can't believe it is October already and I have not posted anything this month! We will now continue with regular scheduled programming. Have you been wondering where I have been? I had to take a break while I rearranged my office a bit. Things were getting too cluttered to get any creative work done!
I guess you could say this is a hybrid card between Stampin' Up! and Anna Griffin. My two favorite stamping companies share the stage here! As usual the soft effects of Anna Griffin type layering do not show up well in a photo. If you have not tried any of her cards, please give it a try. The cards always turn out beautiful.
The dusty blue card stock is some that I have had for quite a while so I can't tell you where to find it. I would use Stampin' Up! Brocade Blue card stock if I were trying to reproduce this card.

Brocade Blue Card Stock
Vanilla Card Stock
Decorative Paper
Bashful Blue Stamp Pad
Brilliant Blue Stamp Pad
Watermark Ink
VersaMark Pen
Silver Embossing Powder
Clear Embossing Powder
Heat Embossing Gun
Floral Background Stamp Anna Griffin or Stampin Up!
Sentiment Stamp
Tape or post it pad
Craft Knife and cutting pad or detail scissors
Paper Trimmer
Silver Eyelets or brads
Crystal Effects

1. Cut a standard sheet of card stock in half and fold so that you have a 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch card.
2. Stamp the card front with the Anna Griffin background stamp using a watermark ink. You may use the SU! Floral Background stamp instead.
3. take a ruler and a VersaMark watermark pen and outline the card.
4. Heat emboss the outline with silver embossing powder.
5. Mask off a flower from the background stamp and stamp with watermark ink on brocade blue.
6. Emboss the flower with clear embossing powder.
7. Stamp oval frame from SU! Label Classics stamp set on Vanilla card stock with Bashful Blue ink.
8. Cut out the oval using a craft knife. This includes the center of the frame.
9. Line up the embossed flower in the frame. Trim and attach to the back of the frame with adhesive.
10. Cut a piece of decorative paper approximately 2 1/2 x 3 inches. If you do not have decorative paper then stamp a background stamp with bashful blue and use that instead. I used Anna Griffin paper which I can no longer find via the Internet so I had to use a background stamp for part of the cards that I made.
11. Back this with a piece of vanilla card stock to layer and set aside after you attach the oval frame to this.
12. Stamp sentiment with Brilliant Blue on Brocade Blue CS. I used a stamp from the SU! retired set called Elegant Greetings.
13. Trim the sentiment close and layer with decorative paper.
14. Layer all of this with a narrow stripe decorative paper. I used a vintage paper from nicole crafts (you could use any geometric pattern).
15. Attach the sentiment to the bottom of the layered frame with brads or eyelets.
16. Attach to the front of the card.
17. Make a bow and attach to the card using crystal effects.
I have included this photo so that you can see the background stamp that I used.
Happy stamping! Please let me know that you stopped by and give this one a try and let me know what you think. It really is great looking up close and personal!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What's in a Name?

I have been back at making name writing pins again. I need to get inspired with my stamping but dread the reorganization that my office is undergoing. Slow and steady wins the race I guess! Furniture is being moved and the closet is getting revamped. Why don't those office fairies come in at night and go poof? LOL Then I would have a wonderful creative space again!

The pin at the top is made with 20 gauge round sterling silver wire. It is much easier to work with than the square wire as with the name Victoria. However, the square wire looks so good and makes a sturdier product so it is worthwhile to work that persnickety stuff. The s curve also makes the pin sturdier because it stiffens things up once it is attached to the spring of the pin. It is not a separate piece of wire but worked with one continuous piece of wire beginning with the V with several inches left on the beginning end. This extra wire is then worked into the pin and spring. The catch is worked in behind the A and then the s curve works out from there and attaches back to the spring behind the V. The square wire catches more light and looks fancier. In the end it is my favorite even though it takes longer to form a name with it. The wire tends to want to turn and it takes a bit of effort to keep it squared up! I can work a name with round wire in forty minutes or less and the square takes an hour. The price you pay for shine and glitz I suppose! What do you think?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pretty in Pink

I thought these were hip and cool but my daughter tells me they are weird. Maybe she just doesn't want to admit there is creativity in these earrings. They were made with 22 gauge sterling silver wire and pink glass beads. Don't forget to use your jig to bend the wire frame and use your small pins . I used my round nose pliers to make the s hooks and headpins. What are you going to make?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cropping Quiz!

What scrapbooking item are you?

You are PAPER!You are an all natural basic person who likes to act as a foundation to others. You are willing to take a backseat in most of your relationships and let others take the spotlight, while you show your support and help them shine! Underneath it all, you are the one who makes it all happen. You are the focus and stability in any group, even if you are not the leader. Others look to you to set the pace and provide ideas for ways to get things done. But Paper Beware - sometimes you get a little edgy with the people who look to you for support and can give them some papercut remarks that can hurt their feelings. Remember to watch what you say, because you are best when leading by example.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Well I always knew I did better when I kept my mouth shut! I guess this just proves it!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Floral Birthday!

I made this card several months ago from an Anna Griffin pattern. This one turned out well but I can think of other things that would have made it even better. Isn’t that the way it always is? You make improvements as you go along and the last one is always better than the first? Some time I hope to work with this basic design and improve upon it. I want to give it more of a wow factor. The color combinations could be improved upon and other embellishments used to add even more interest.

The floral paper is by Anna Griffin and the stock number is AG012. The Pink embossed flourish paper is from The Vintage Paper Collection from The burgundy strip is SU! Bravo Burgundy card stock and the picot ribbon is by Offray. The card itself was stamped on a speckled gray card stock that has been in my stash for years and then I just stippled the edge with the burgundy ink. This piece measures 3 ¼ inches by 4 ½ inches. I can see this done with the SU! new round tab punch at the top or maybe incorporating the designer label. The possibilities are just about endless so I may design a series of cards with this basic design and see if they get better as I go! I almost forgot to mention how well this card would work for Valentine’s Day! Doesn’t it just scream nostalgia? Happy stamping and please let me know that you stopped by. Don’t forget the send a link if you use this as a springboard or CASE this card.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Crown Jewels?

Are you thinking, she's still in a blue mood? Yes it's true! It is so clean and calming to work with these colors. The sparkle and wow factor work so well with this combination. What can I say? Were you wondering if I was thinking about the Crown Jewels at the time of creating this piece? Not quite, but I was thinking prom or wedding!
The necklace was strung with two wires and the pendant portion was made using two fine head pins and attaching to the center of the necklace portion. The bicone beads are Swarovski as well as the blue crystal in the square beads. I also used quite a few sterling Bali beads too.
Have you figured out yet that I really like Bali beads? It's true they are an old stand by. I also made a matching bracelet. Enjoy and leave a comment! If you have a question, please ask. More name writing coming soon at the same bat time on the same bat channel! Who remembers this TV show?

Technical Difficulty

My apologies to any of you who have had difficulty reading the last post through a RSS feed. The font color has been corrected. For some unknown reason, that was a difficult post to publish! Thanks for your patience! You may now return to regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Heartfelt Sympathy Card Tutorial

Well, it's time for a cropping post today. I am finally getting caught up on making some cards. Soon I'll be stamping on anything but a card and altered items! It will be a lot of fun to work in other mediums for a change. All of you are probably tired of looking at cards too!

Last week I created this card for the Virtual Stamp Night Challenge at Splitcoast and I am finally getting around to uploading a photo of it. Some of you are die hard Stampin' Up people and I applaud that. I had many supplies from different companies before I became a demonstrator so I am using up what I have before I buy all new supplies. You may substitute Stampin' Up! or just use this blog for inspiration. I am trying to get cards made for the card ministry at my church.
I hope you like it. If you do, please let me know! If you make a card using an idea from this one, send the link so we can have a look! Here is how this one is made.


Textured Vanilla card stock
White and vanilla card stock
SU! Mellow Moss Card Stock

SU! French Script Background Stamp
SU! Heartfelt Thanks Stamp Set
SU! Elegant Inspirations Stamp Set

SU! Mellow Moss Classic Ink
Sugarloaf Fresh Eggplant Stamp Pad
Brilliance Victorian Violet Stamp Pad
Brilliance Pearlescent Ivy Stamp Pad

Mellow Moss Classic Stamp Pad
Watermark Stamp Pad

Cuttle Bug Textile Embossing Folder
Heat Gun
Gold Embossing Powder
Foam plate or palette
Bone Folder
Stencil Brush
Paint Brush

1. I cut some heavy duty textured 8 1/2 x 11 inch card stock in half at 5 1/2 inches. I have had this card stock (CS) for a while and do not know who the manufacturer happens to be.

2. Fold the card in half using a bone folder. I also like to use the top edge of my paper cutter as a guide to help keep the paper straight.

3. Open the card and cut off 1 inch of the front right hand side of the card.
4.Stamp the front with the French Script stamp in Mellow Moss.
5. Run 1/4 sheet of white CS through the Cuttle Bug with the Textile Embossing Folder. I do not have a Cuttle Bug yet so I can't show you this step. If you need more information about this tool, check out Craft Critique. Some very kind ladies send these to me. If you do not have access to a Cuttle Bug, you could emboss by hand the old fashion way or buy embossed CS or paper.

6. Rub Mellow Moss Ink pad over the top of the embossed CS. Just ink the raised portion.
7. Squirt a few drops of Mellow Moss ink on a plate and dilute with water. I used about one part ink to 3 or 4 parts water.
8. Dampen sponge and then sponge diluted ink onto embossed CS and let dry or dry with the heat gun.

9. Stamp Heartfelt Thanks Flower on vanilla CS using
Eggplant on the flower and Mellow Moss on the stem.
10. Cut the flowers into 2 1/4 x 3 1/2 inch pieces.

A bit of tape would be helpful to mask while inking the stamp.
11. Ink up Flower Outline with Victorian Violet and leaves with Pearlescent Ivy.
12. Distress the edges and Stipple around the edge of the flower in Mellow Moss using a stencil brush.
Don't forget to ink the edge of the card stock too!

13. Cut a piece of Mellow Moss CS to 2 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches and glue to the back of the flower.
14. Use the swirl from the Elegant Inspirations set and the watermark ink to stamp the corners of the flower.
15.Heat emboss with gold embossing powder.

16. Ink the raised portion of the embossed paper with watermark ink and emboss with gold embossing powder.

If too much powder sticks in the crevices, then use a paint brush to clean off the powder before heating. You want this to look a bit aged.

17. Cut embossed paper into one inch strips and glue a strip down to the right edge of the back flap. Trim if needed. The front flap of the card should meet the left edge of the embossed paper which you glued to the bottom flap of the card.
18. Glue flower to the center of the front flap.
I chose to use gold embossing powder for the sentiment on the inside of the card and it looks great!

19. This last photo shows an alternate way to finish the flower. I stamped an additional flower, cut it out and curled up the edges.
20. Next I added some wonderful lavender ultra fine glitter to the center of the flower.

Happy Stamping and don't forget to tell me what you think and link your card here!

Blog Candy Winner!

Today is the day to award the Blog Candy earrings and matching pendant. My daughter has drawn the name for me and the winner is................... CATHY!!!!!!! I'll be contacting you to make arrangements to send out your goodies. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bracelet Watches!

Have you figured out that I am attracted to bright shiny objects? Yes, it's more watches. I must admit that I have quite a collection. There must be at least nine in my collection and then I have also made several as gifts.

The clear and silver piece is the first beaded watch that I put together several years ago. It is still my favorite and goes with any type of clothing. The Bali beads make this piece interesting and give a lot of texture to the piece. It also gives an antique look to the piece and I love antiques! You may notice that when I make a double stranded piece that I like to use square beads to tie the two strands together. Using just one square bead on each side worked quite nicely. Proper placement made all the difference.

The blue and white watch is an old standby for jeans when I want a little more color. Notice the square beads, spacers and facets of the blue beads give the texture and contrast needed to make this piece interesting. The watch face is a bit large and very round. An oval or oblong face would have been the best choice in my opinion. Maybe I just get tired of looking at the same old round shape in watch faces! I hope this gives you some ideas to make your own designer watches. It is fun to have so many to mix and match with clothing. Especially since the cost is reasonable if you make them yourself! Happy beading and let me know that you have stopped by the blog today.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pin with attitude!

Okay, okay! I know I have to stop taking photos at night. The reflection with the flash is too much to handle but I just couldn't wait to show off my latest pin. It is so easy to make! Can't you just see this on a denim jacket or a blazer? The beads are sterling silver, royal blue glass, navy blue glass and topaz blue glass. The navy blue beads look black in this photo. I will see about getting a better photo later after I make several different colors and I'll post those so that you may have a better appreciation of this piece.
The Movement of this piece is wonderful! The beads sparkle and catch the light. The added bonus is the sound of the beads. It was a lot of fun to make and just as much fun to wear. It is made from a single length of round 20 gauge half hard sterling silver wire on a wire jig. Use a medium large peg at the center and begin bending the piece from the center and work your way out. Be sure to leave one side about 3 1/2 inches longer than the other to form the spring and pin with. Once it is taken off of the jig you will want to form the spring by making several circles. Use your flush cutters and snip the end to a point and sharpen to a clean point. (I will be showing other photos soon that show how this is done.) I twisted the center loop one time to add a bit of strength and interest before I added the beads. You will also want to form your hook on the opposite side to finish the body of the pin. Note that this would also be pretty done with twisted square wire for a filigree look. I picked some up today and can't wait to play! Harden the wire with a hammer and then polish or tumble polish to harden and polish in one step. Next it is time to have fun mixing and matching the beads. Once you have a pleasing pattern then attach beads and have fun wearing!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fall Apple Harvest

This card was fun to make and it reminds me of the mountains, cider, fried apple pies and cool weather for apple picking. Here is how it was made.
1. Stamp apple bucket from the Stampin' Up! (SU!) Give Thanks set with black Stazon ink. You may use any neutral paper or watercolor paper.
2. Cut Real Red card stock (CS) to 4 x5 1/4 inches.
3. Cut Handsome Hunter CS 1 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches and stamp with the SU! Print Pattern background stamp using watermark ink. I find the easiest way to do this is by turning the stamp rubber side up and ink the bottom 2 1/2 rows of the stamp. Lay the paper on the stamp and rub evenly.
4. Lay green strip against red paper and trim with a craft knife to exact size. Add the brass embellishment to this strip with metallic gold ribbon. I like to use Crystal Effects to glue down the ribbon.
5. Color the apple bucket with water color crayons/watercolor pencils and blend with a brush or Aqua Painter. See tutorial if needed. I used a Basic Gray, Going Gray and white crayon with a green red, yellow and brown pencil. The apples were shaded by coloring yellow on the top and red at the bottom. Blend the two colors together working from yellow to red.
6. Use a thin layer of Crystal Effects on the apples for shine and let dry. This picks up the shine from the ribbon, embellishment and gold embossing.
7. Cut the apple buckets into 2 1/2 x 3 inch rectangles.
8. Take black paper or CS and cut into rectangles 1/2 inch larger than the apple buckets.
9. Use the SU! wrought iron corner punch on each corner of the black rectangle and insert the apple buckets.
10. Dry fit the pieces together and take watermark ink and stamp the sentiment (Thinking of You from SU! Peace and Comfort set). Heat emboss with black embossing powder.
11. Stamp the squiggle from the Elegant Inspirations set with watermark ink and heat emboss with gold powder.
12. Put all of the pieces together with adhesive and attach to the front of white or vanilla CS.

The Brass embellishment was made with 21 gauge square half hard wire which was twisted with a pin vise or drill and then wrapped around the medium sized pins of a wire jig. See the Wire Jig post for more information.

Happy stamping!

Watercolor Tutorial with an Aqua Painter

I have been doing a lot of watercoloring the last few months and thought it would be good to go ahead and write this tutorial. It is a great technique to do on the run! I keep a bag packed with my watercoloring supplies and take it with me when I have down time. Like the time I kill waiting for my daughter's piano lesson to be finished or waiting to pick her up from sports etc... Even though I have short snippets of time, I can feel productive in my cropping ventures. I have also heard several complaints about using the Aqua Painter and watercolor crayons so I thought I might address some of those issues in the process. Especially since I am not a watercolor artist and attack this technique from a crafter's viewpoint.
Shall we begin? You may use a soft bristled brush, aqua painter or blender pen for this technique. I prefer a brush or the Aqua Painter(water filled brush) and since I do this technique on the go I usually use the painter. There are other painters similar to these on the market but I do not like them. The bristles are stiffer and it is easy to raise the color off of the paper. The bristles scrub instead of blend color.
I have heard several people complain about the Aqua Painter leaving too much water on the paper and that it drips. I think this is due to squeezing the painter too hard. You want the painter bristles to be damp but not wet. Use a paper towel to blot the excess water from the painter before putting it to paper and don't squeeze it very often. If you use a brush, the same thing applies. It is quite different from true watercoloring. You don't wet the paper first and then add the color. If this sounds too complicated then give the blender pen a try. Some of you might prefer it.
Now let's talk about color. Watercolor paints, dye based ink, watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons are all choices that may be mixed and matched if you desire. You may use dye based ink pads or ink refills. If this is your choice then consider the Stampin' Up! pad. It works great for this technique because you can give the pad a squeeze and then flip the lid for a perfect palette. Watercolor pencils are easy to use too. Just put some color down and begin blending. I use them later, on this project. The crayons are similar to a child's crayon only you can blend the color with water.
I began this project with a crayon. If you look close, you may see how much it looks like coloring from a crayon. I left blank space where clouds might be and then used my Aqua painter to blend. I began on one side at the top and worked my way down and across. I also began with the background first. painting the things that are farthest away first and working your way forward helps layer and create depth in your work. (Remember that you may click on an image to enlarge it.) Notice that I just use the tip of the Aqua Painter to do the blending. That is really all you need. If you push too hard you could move too much of the color. If this happens, let the paper dry and touch things up.

Next I used a green watercolor pencil. The color of the pencils is more intense so I tend to only color part of the grass and blend the rest. I think the grass is more intense in the front and gets lighter as it fades in the distance. Does this make sense? I trace the stems and grass also. Next I used a purple pencil on the flowers and quickly blended.

Another thing to consider is the light source in the picture. Where is the sun shining? I decided it was coming from the top right corner so I shaded accordingly. Notice the folds in the dress are darker as well as the underside of the dress. The front of the dress is lighter than the back also. The sun washes out the color on the front of the dress. Notice the shading on the hat? It is several colors of yellow and straw added to the paper and then I blended all of the colors. Working first in the lightest area and working into the darkest.I did not color every centimeter of the dress. Leave some space blank for shading and blending.

The flesh tone is a Blush Blossom crayon from Stampin' Up! It is the only flesh tone that I have and it worked quite nicely. Granted and artist would be able to create more realism than I did here but this works fine for a card and any crafter can get the hang of this method. One thing I have not mentioned yet is to wipe the painter on a paper towel between the use of different colors. This cleans the color out of the bristles. Don't worry about the bristles being stained. You can still blend color without worry that this will ruin your project. It will be just fine. A completed card with this image may be found in an earlier post titled Summer By the Sea.


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