Mostly White

Break time is over! After a couple of months when my creativity hijacked by a kitchen remodel that took way longer than I expected, I'm back at my craft table and making Christmas cards! This week I'm playing along with AAA Cards CAS Game "Mostly White," a design theme I really love. Had fun trying out some new Christmas dies.

For this one I used two Simon Says Stamp designs, Merry Dies from CZ Designs and Corbel Ornament Collage. I made the background using a partial emboss technique with one of my older Cuttlebug embossing folders after running the dies through. I popped up the embossed section with double-stick foam tape, then filled in the ornament die cuts using a Gelly Roll glitter pen. I stacked four die cuts of the word Merry and glued them together, then mounted them inside the die cut space letterpress-style.

 The picture below shows the glitter on the ornament a little better.

Peek-a-Boo Cards

Still playing with apples and the AAA Cards sketch! I wanted to try a different take, this time using a diecut technique. With my MISTI, I stamped the image twice using Versafine onyx ink, once on the front and then on the inside. The great thing about the MISTI is that I know the image will be in the same spot on both sides of the card. That is, as long as the inked-up stamp stays in place when the MISTI is closed. This particular stamp was once a rubber stamp, which I had removed from its wood block, delaminated, and treated with a tacky glue so it could be used like a clear stamp. 

Unfortunately, the tacky glue wasn't as tacky as it once had been. After several attempts to stamp during which the stamp fell off and made a near-perfect impression on a spot where I didn't want it, I figured out that I could carefully close the MISTI back-to-front, very slowly, and hit the right spot. I used one of the mistakes to practice my watercoloring. It actually turned out kind of artsy looking, in spite of my ineptness, don't you think?

Next, I diecut a small circle in the top card, then colored only the inside image with colored pencils. The result is that you see the image with color in the center fading to black and white on the outside. The images do line up; it's difficult to tell by the photo without the card being completely flattened. 

Before adding the sentiment, I did a partial emboss on the front using an embossing folder with my Big Kick, to give it texture.

I made a second card using the same technique with black, white and one other color for the current Less Is More challenge.

I've been anxious to try out this cute stamp from Gerta Steiner that I've had all summer. This seemed the perfect challenge! Once again, I stamped both front and inside with Versafine then heat embossed with clear powder. This time I colored the image with alcohol markers. For texture, I ran the front cover through my Big Shot with an embossing folder from Stampin' Up, Softly Falling.

For a little bling, I added a bit of glitter pen to his hat and nose.

Just to show that I really can read directions, I made this design with the white space non-textured for the AAA challenge:

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Apple Play

I made this card for a new challenge over at Addicted to CAS and one of my favorites - Apples! 


I'm also going to add this to the sketch challenge at the AAA blogspot. 

My design idea had me reaching back into my stash for one of my oldest stamp sets from Stampin' Up. I knew I wanted to use my colored pencils on kraft paper, so I chose a nice kraft cardstock from GinaK for the base. I stamped the apple with Vesafine Onyx ink and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder. To keep the design simple and have the color of the apple stand out, I decided to stamp the leaf and sentiment in Versamark, embossing both with the clear embossing powder.

Once that was done, I die cut the base using the largest Page Maker rectangle die. For a extra texture I ran it through my Big Shot using a Sizzix plate, also from my stash archives. For the final touch I adhered a few sparkly sequins that I received free with my last order from The Ink Road (who doesn't like "free?").

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Still in the playing mode, I made a card for Less is More's #378, Sketch 24. I struggled a little with this one for several days because I just couldn't get the spacing right. My first attempt produced this card:

I really wanted to create a card like some that the design team had made. Anita's was my favorite, so I went to her blog and studied. The result was my second card, which is all but a blatant plagiarism of Anita's (or shall we call it an innocent CASE?).

I'm glad I was able to squeak in before the deadline on this because. . . 

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Berries and Boxes

After several disappointing results using the only berry stamp I own, I was ready to give up on making a card for Addicted to CAS's Challenge #143, Berries. However, I happened to notice that another project I'd rejected, a watercolored hydrangea, had a very cool leaf that I hated to throw out. One thing led to another. I cut out the leaf using a square punch, then stamped one more strawberry with my old rubber stamp, this time on watercolor paper, and punched that out too. I mounted both with foam tape on an embossed card front, then added a sentiment. Voila! I had a "Berries" theme card and I was happy because...

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Mermaid Dreams

 There's something about a rainy day that gives me permission to create cards! Not that I need permission (retirement is awesome) but this sunny, warm summer has just beckoned me outdoors and away from my craft studio. So, yesterday's rain just sat me down and got me back into the groove.

For inspiration I decided to participate in a couple of CAS challenges, beginning with AAA Cards' Game #122, Use a Stencil. One of the cards on my to-do list is a birthday card for our six-year-old granddaughter, who's into princesses and mermaids. 

Her card ended up being just a little too gaudy for CAS, I thought, so I created a couple versions that were more fitting.

I began with a mermaid scale stencil I had made earlier this year using my Cricut and a Google image. Here's the link to the Ken's Creations video that taught me how to do it. With Distress Oxides in Mermaid Lagoon (naturally) and Seedless preserves, I created a swirl to suggest a mermaid tail. Then I showered it lightly with shimmer spray. 

Next, I stamped the sentiment with Gina K's new archival black ink along with the tail. The sentiment if from Sunny Studios and the tail from Flora & Fauna. I added a little heat embossing to the tail using a powder from my stash called "Psychedelic." You can catch a little of the shimmer in the photo below.

To add texture, I used an embossing folder from Darice across the bottom corner, simulating waves. After adding a few bubbly embellishments, I diecut the frame using Crazy-Double-Running-Stitch-Rectangle-Nesting-Dies from Cutplorations, then adhered the whole thing to a card.

I created the version below the same way, only using Versamark with the sparkly embossing powder. The mermaid tail came out in a pale, shimmery gold. This one I mounted with foam tape to make it pop out a little.

All in all, even though I began the whole process wondering if I'd get inspiration I like the way these turned out. I guess the secret is to just begin and the inspiration will come!

Thanks for looking.

Supplies used:


Friendly Watercolor Sunflower

Playing along with a couple of CAS challenges today, AAA "Friendship" and CAS Watercolor "Sunflower."

I reached back into my stash for a cute little sunflower stamp that I've had for years, from Stampin' Up's "Give Thanks" set, which is long retired. Such a cute set, though, and worthy of pulling out of retirement.

I began with a simple watercolor background on 400 watercolor paper. Next, I stamped the sunflower using Gina K's new archival ink. When that was dry, I used my watercolor markers to color in the sunflower, then diecut the design using a circle. With a larger circle I embossed the frame, and cut another frame using Spellbinder's page dies. I added a few crystal drops, and mounted the smaller circle into the embossed circle.

The sentiment is from Gina K's hydrangea set. I stamped it using Versafine onyx ink, then embossed with clear embossing powder. 

Please see below for links to the products I used and check them out.

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Products used (some are compensating affiliate links):