Friday, August 31, 2007

Elegant Violet Flourishes


Isn't it pretty? Wouldn't it be perfect for a wedding, anniversary, birthday or even a sympathy card? It took a bit of time to create but was well worth it! I usually make several of the same card to cut down on the amount of time involved. That doesn't make a lot of sense does it? What I really mean is that setting up an assembly line to make many of the same card takes less time over all than creating many different cards. If you have an embossing machine, it will also help cut down on the amount of time to create this beauty. All of the paper is hand stamped with Anna Griffin stamps. Her background stamps and border stamps usually have a repeating pattern so you can stamp an entire 12x12 sheet of paper or create a long border. The embossed square was done with an Anna Griffin brass stencil by Plaid Enterprises. You may need to click on the photo to enlarge it to see this detail. Fiskar scissors were used to make the scallop border. I learned these techniques several years ago in Anna Griffin's video entitled Elegant Card Crafting. It is called a gate fold card and different than the usual card. Here is another card in a different color with different stamps and an Anna Griffin border punch. I think some of the new Stampin' Up! sets might work out well to make a similar card. Do you take that as a challenge? Go ahead and see what you can come up with and leave me a link to your version of this card. If you are wondering, I do not work for or get reimbursed in any way by using Anna Griffin products. I just happen to use her products when I need a fancy card. How can you go wrong with these patterns? Happy stamping!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Check This Out

Have you been wondering where the posts have been this week? I have been having a problem with spy ware and viruses because I have been surfing the net a lot lately. Oh the joys of the information super highway! Oh and then there is the time consuming problem of trying to refill printer ink cartridges for printers that are too darn proprietary for their own good! (Throw printer across the room at this point and buy another brand of printer that is also proprietary and tries to block you from refilling your ink cartridge.) I'll get down from my soap box now and get on with it.

I thought I would share some of the things that I have found. Check out the Well Said Cards Blog if you need ribbon. There is blog candy there until Friday August 31st. Who could resist a bag of ribbon and other goodies?

The Ruby Slippers Stamping Blog has a good idea in the August 27Th post! There is a photo of a punch template that would come in handy when designing cards and scrapbook pages. Just place the template over a stamped image to figure out which images work with which punches. The link is in my favorites to the right. I need to get around to doing this to save time when designing a new project.

Are you tired of stamping cards and scrapbook pages? See what Jane has been doing with alcohol inks. I have some that I have not had time to play with yet. Drop me line and tell me what you have been doing with this type of ink. Better yet, leave a message with a link to a photo of your project.

If you like jewelry, check out Patricia's blog candy. She is giving away one of her lampwork bead bracelets. Ooh la la!

I have been creating some jewelry this week and fancy cards. I hope to get them posted very soon. Happy stamping!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Glitter In the Spotlight

I was stamping images from In the Spotlight stamp set for the wish random acts of kindness over at splitcoast stampers last week. Sometimes I have a few oopses and wind up with extra images so I put these to use on a card.
1. Cut a 8.5 x 11 inch piece of card stock down the middle at 4.25 inches and fold in half length wise.
2. Use 4 or 5 of the small floral stamps and stamp 1/4 sheet of bravo burgundy card stock with bravo burgundy ink or with watermark ink. This card was stamped with the burgundy ink but I think the watermark ink would give a better effect. Cut this piece in half to get your background piece.
3. Stamp the appropriate images on very vanilla card stock with bravo burgundy and sage shadow Using In the Spotlight, Totally Tabs and Sincere Salutations stamp sets.
4. Cut out the images, use a corner punch on the salutation and cut a 2 inch strip of vanilla card stock.
5. Use a border punch on the strip of vanilla and the right edge of the card. This one is a Fiskar punch. I used it because it mimics a similar shape as the Spotlight stamp set. Stamp it with the dot border and use the Stamp-a-ma-jig to line things up evenly. Next glue on the stamped disks and tab at the top.
6. Glue a piece of vanilla grosgrain ribbon down the center of the background paper and attach to the front of the card. You can use Sticky Strip or Crystal Effects for this.
7. Next glitter the flowers using the 2-Way Glue Pen and dazzling diamonds glitter and let dry.
8. Roll the flower petals over a pencil to get some dimension. I should have done more of this. Glue the flowers and sentiment to the ribbon. I used the crystal effects because it is difficult to get glue things to ribbon.
9. Glue down the vanilla strip along the edge of the background paper and make sure that about the same amount of sage card stock peaks out evenly on each end of the card. That's all there is to it! Happy Stamping!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beaded Watches


Just a quick post to show you a couple of beaded watches that match the jewelry from earlier posts. These are simple designs that go together quickly. I made them to go with the Christmas season and find myself wearing them throughout the year. I prefer to work with small watch faces when I can get them because the weight of the face can cause the watch to slide around the wrist. Gravity really works and the heavier the face the more likely that it will not stay put on your wrist. I used stainless steel wire and crimp beads. The photo also shows two types of clasps that are available. The lobster claw clasp allows you to make the watch more fitted to the wrist while the toggle makes the watch act more like a bracelet and move more freely around the wrist. I also wanted to mention that if you wear the toggle watch with a sterling silver beaded bracelet mixed with a few glass beads on the same wrist that it is a real eye catcher. The beads catch the light while the two pieces move about your wrist! See how many watches you can come up with to match your wardrobe.

Beginner Basics Scrapbook Page-Wild Rose



This was so basic yet still very pretty! It is a 6x6 inch scrapbook page done with the Wild Rose stamp set and Measure of a Life hostess set. I used Mellow Moss and Cranberry Crisp colors but you can use the Bravo Burgundy if you don’t have the Cranberry. The designer paper down the right is no longer available but I think that making your own paper with the Baroque Motif or Brocade Basics stamp set would work really well here too. The phrase at the top of the page has been heat embossed with fine gold embossing powder and the rose at the bottom of the page has been popped off of the page using a stampin' dimensional. The only thing left that this page needs is a photo and journal block! Can you see how easy it would be to create a 12x12 page using the same template? Happy stamping!!! In case you are wondering, the entire project is made with products from Stampin' Up!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Victorian Baroque



It took forever to figure out what I was going to do with this stamp set that had not already been done. After some thought, I finally decided to go with jewel tones and opted for the elegant eggplant card stock with the Encore! ® silver ink. This card opens from the right because I wanted something a little different than the typical 4.25 x 5.5 inch standard card. Just cut the 8.5 x 11 inch cardstock down the middle lengthways at 4.25 inches and then fold in half.

The Baroque Border wheel was used to create the border by masking the corners at 45 degrees with post it paper. This took the most time since I had to do two sides of the border at a time and then wait for the ink to dry before I could mask and finish the other two sides.
I stamped the large background Baroque Motif stamp on white card stock with Perfect Plum ink.
Next I cut down this image and run the edge of the card stock on the Perfect Plum pad.
Then I backed the image with black card stock.
Stamp the square motif onto white and cut it out and mount it with a Stampin’ Dimensional (A.K.A. pop dot) or a scrap piece of foam that was left over after cutting out a stamp set.
Stamp a sentiment on elegant eggplant card stock with the silver ink and run the edge of the paper on the silver ink pad.
Mount the sentiment to the left of the background image and then glue this down to the card front.Place the square motif off to the right and down as the photo shows and you have an elegant new card! Enjoy!

French Ear Wire Tutorial part 2



  1. Now that you have seen how VERY EASY it is to create your own French wires, let's take a peek at how to make that heart motif.




Take your 20 gauge half hard round sterling silver wire and wrap it around the round nose pliers about 1/3 of the way down the tip to make the first half of the heart.



          Next take your flat pliers and tighten up the loop.



            Use the flat nose pliers to bend the tip of the heart into a point.


          Take the round nose pliers and round over the wire to create the other half of the heart. Finish up as the ear wire 101 tutorial instructions recommend.


          Happy Wire Bending!















          Friday, August 17, 2007

          Ear Wire Tutorial 101


          1. Take your round nose pliers and some 20 gauge round half hard wire and begin to make a tiny round circle using the very tip of the pliers. Circle around 2 times. Harden the circle with nylon pliers or an an anvil.

          2. Place the circle in your flat nose pliers and bend 180 degrees. See Photo and don't forget to click on the pic if you need to enlarge it.

          3. Take your round nose pliers and make a bend at the base of the circle using the tip of the pliers.


          4. Now place the wire onto the jig as shown and bend. If you do not have a jig, you can use round nose pliers and bend two wires at one time so that you have a matched set. The jig does a great job though and is worth the investement.

          5. Remove from jig and trim the wire. It is up to you at this point how long you want the wire to be. It is a personal preference and style unless the wires will be used for children or young teens. In my opinion, the long wires are too large for a young person's ear and length of their face.
          6. Make a second ear wire and line them both together in your pliers so that they are a matched set.


          7. Lightly hammer to harden the wire as shown. I like to place the decorative circle at the edge of the anvil. Be careful not to damage the circle as you harden the rest of the wire. The horn of the anvil works well to accomplish this job. Nylon pliers can also be used but I think the anvil does a better job at hardening the wire. Did you notice that the last pic has a heart motif instead of a circle? I will post the instructions for those in my next post. Until then stay tuned!

          Thursday, August 16, 2007

          Update

          Time for just a little update. The blog is coming along a bit slower than expected. I am still adding links and probably will be for quite some time. There are tons of stamping diva blogs that I want to introduce you to as well as basket and jewelry sites that are really cool.

          Did you check out Patricia's jewelry yet? Her beads are so beautiful and those bracelets are marvelous! If you would like to purchase individual beads, just contact Patricia and she will give you a price on the things you are interested in. I am hoping that she will talk about some of the individual beads in one of her upcoming blog posts. I can imagine making several pieces with her beads, if I can only find the time!

          I promised you a tutorial on making your own french wire earrings. The photos are finally complete and downloaded. I hope to get things uploaded to the blog in the next few days along with a tutorial on a beginner basket. For now I'll show you a pair of those Celtic knot wire jig earrings. Remember the Celtic knot cropping bling? It is the same piece done with sterling silver on simple hand made ear wires with the addition of a square pink iridescence bead for color and interest. The french wire tutorial will feature wires that are a bit more decorative so keep checking back!



          I know another jewelry artisan who may give you some more details about the Celtic knot jewelry or maybe she will choose to show something entirely different. She was wearing a pair of earrings like these one day and I really liked them. We were making jewelry that day and I made a pair before our creative session ended. They are fun and have a lot of movement. This artisan will be a guest blogger here in the future. For now, here are those earrings I promised you. The bead has a simple coil design on each end and is attached to the knot with a simple S hook.

          Tuesday, August 14, 2007

          Measure of a Life




          The Measure of a Life stamp set from Stampin’ Up!® is one of my favorites. It has been so versatile and easy to work with that I have completed many projects with this set. I took the easy way out on this card and just heat embossed it with detail silver embossing powder and used the Print Pattern background stamp along with an Anna Griffin background stamp. Layer a few colors of card stock and that’s really all there is to it. I made this card as a sympathy card by embossing an appropriate sentiment and floral motif on vellum and attached it to the inside.

          This thinking of you card was made using the same stamp set. I used a couple of watercolor crayons and the wrought iron corner slot punch. I sent it to my gardening friend after she lost her husband. Several months later she told me that she felt special that someone had handcrafted a card for her. I showed her some of my stamping projects and she thought it might be fun. I showed her how to get started stamping and she jumped in with both feet! She is on her way to becoming a stamping diva!

          Basket Weaving Primer

          I thought it was about time that we talk about basket weaving. We'll start at the beginning so that everyone is on the same page. You only need to gather a few tools and many of them you probably already own.

          TOOL LIST
          Sharp Scissors/Pruning Shears
          Pencil
          Twist Ties
          Bucket for soaking the reed
          Clothes Pins or small clips
          Spritzer Bottle of water
          Ruler/Tape Measure
          Awl
          Packing tool: I prefer a short tool for most projects.
          Craft Knife: Not needed for every project but can be handy for some tasks.
          Towel: I like to work on a towel to absorb the excess water.
          Self Healing Cutting Mat can be handy for lining up the bottom of a basket.

          BASIC WEAVING MATERIALS
          Assorted Reed
          Sea Grass
          Dye for adding color to baskets
          Handles if required. Theses are D handles.

          REED
          Reed comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. This is a small sample of what is available. The first two are flat reed, the middle two are half round reed and the last is round reed. Flat reed has a right and wrong side and it is important to place the right side to the outside when weaving. To find the right side, soak the reed and then bend it forward and then backward. The smoother of the sides should be used as the outside. The side that splinters is the inside.


          Next it is time to choose a pattern. If you are a beginner, choose a beginner pattern or easy pattern to get started. There are plenty available on the Internet and through basket weaving supply stores. A square or oblong shaped basket is usually easier to assemble over a round, oval or heart shape.


          Happy shopping and searching. Soon we'll look at actually weaving a beginner basket!

          Thursday, August 9, 2007

          Wire Bling Embellishments




          I just wanted to share a couple of photos with you concerning the nearly limitless number of wire pieces that can be made for cropping projects. These pieces add such great bits of bling and they are so easy to construct! You just need an inexpensive wire jig and your off and running. I think mine cost $9.99 US dollars before I used a 50% off coupon. LOL! I don't recommend investing in a plastic jig because they just don't seem to hold up well.

          The wire is easy to find too. I usually use 20 and 22 gauge wire. In the the photo, I used navy blue wire so it would show up well for photographic purposes. Most of the time I use wire that looks like brass, silver and copper because it adds so much sparkle to a project. I have four different size pegs that came with my jig and I use all of them. The Celtic knots were made with the smallest pegs, the round paper clip and large S shapes were made with the largest pegs and the rest of the items were made with the two middle size pegs. Keep in mind that some of the shapes I use for cropping are the same shapes I use when I construct jewelry. Stay tuned to see some more of the jewelry in the near future.
          If this inspires you, please let me know what you come up with!

          Tuesday, August 7, 2007

          Soothing Anna Griffin


          I am posting this card because it amazes me how few supplies were used to make such a pretty card. I know the photograph does not do this card justice with its’ pastel tones but I wanted to discuss it anyway. I used a punch, three stamps, one ink pad, decorative scissors, three stampin’ dimensionals, a paper cutter, beige card stock and three different paper designs. Pleating the paper adds so much to this otherwise plain card. Why don’t you take two or three tools along with a couple of supplies and see if you can design an elegant card! Let me know what you come up with. It’s your turn. I have unpacked my basket weaving supplies so I have to go see what my next project is going to be. I unpacked a basket that I had forgotten about making. Can’t wait to show it to you!

          Sunday, August 5, 2007

          Improvisation On a Theme


          This set may look familiar to you if you have been reading this blog. They are almost identical to the July 26Th post. I used a finer head pin and created a third piece which easily slides on a silver chain as a pendant. This is a simple yet elegant set and works up quickly as a gift item. If you are comfortable making these, then it is time to move along to something with a little more glitz. It is just as easy to put together but it takes a bit longer to complete. The most difficult part of this project is adding the crimp beads. I used a 7 flexible strand nylon coated stainless steel bead wire with a 20# break. If this sounds a bit technical it really isn't. Bead wire comes in different tensile strengths. The number 20 means that the wire can takes 20 lbs of pull before it breaks. I don't like to use anything lighter because I tend to get my bracelets caught on things. LOL I guess my mother didn't name me Grace for a reason. If you have small children, they are often attracted to bright shiny objects dangling around your neck and wrist. Those little fingers are strong and sometimes quicker than the eye. This is why I like a stronger wire. If you really want to be safe, you may be able to order a 40# wire. You can usually find the 20# wire on a roll in your craft store or jewelry supply store. The silver used is all sterling and the spacers on the bracelet and necklace have a rope pattern. The larger silver Bali beads are 8 mm in size and made in Indonesia. There are also some 6mm round emerald color druk glass beads along with some 4mm and 6mm fire polished emerald colored glass beads. The pieces were then finished with clasps that are simple yet decorative pieces of silver from Indonesia. I used sterling silver crimp beads to finish the pieces. If you are new to using these, then I would recommend practicing with silver plated beads and then moving on to using the softer sterling. If you need a bit of instruction on this process, then check out either of these links. http://www.firemountaingems.com/beading_howtos/beading_projects.asp?docid=691H&sact=search


          Friday, August 3, 2007

          Best Blossoms




          This card was created using the shaving cream technique. It was very easy to make. Here's how.

          1. Take a neutral 1.5 to 2 inch wide piece of card stock and stamp on it with the small floral stamp from the Stampin' Up! Best Blossoms stamp set using the Versamark watermark ink.

          2. Next emboss the flowers with clear embossing powder.

          3. Pump a layer of shaving cream onto a styrofoam plate and squirt several drops of lovely lilac, green galore and pixie pink classic refill ink randomly onto the cream.

          4. Take a craft stick and swirl it through the shaving cream in a horizontal and then a vertical pattern but do not over mix.

          5.Lay the embossed paper on the shaving cream and gently press so that the paper is coated.

          6.Pull up the paper and wipe it off with a paper towel and let dry.

          7.Take the leaf stamp from the Best Blossoms and stamp randomly onto pretty pink card stock, using a watermark stamp pad.

          8.Fold the card and tear the bottom.

          9.Stamp So Very with lovely lilac onto pretty in pink card stock. Then run the edge along the stamp pad and layer onto gable green card stock.

          1o.Stamp loved onto a punched image of green galore card stock and attach with lavender ribbon.

          11.Attach shaving cream card stock strip.

          12.Add word strip and add floral embellishments.

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