Friday, August 20, 2010

My Very First Easel Card!

My Aunt Jackie has a birthday coming up and I wanted to do something bright and cheery. I also wanted to try my hand at an easel card and was thinking in terms of a circular card for the weekly challenge at the Anything But Cute group on Paper Craft Planet.

I cut my card base out of the bright yellow cardstock with orange polka-dots. I don't have any record of the company that produced this cardstock. I bought 4 different packs at Big Lots a couple years back; at the time, I wasn't thinking about keeping track of company names, so tossed the packaging without making a note of which company it was.

On a whim, I grabbed my tracing wheel from my sewing stuff and ran a line around the outer edge of the top circle that would become the front of my card. Then I took a corsage pin and pierced through each mark left by the tracing wheel. At that point, I decided the paper-piercing wasn't enough, so I pulled out my embroidery floss, a needle and some seed beads and proceeded to embroider a simple chain stitch through all those holes all around the card. I followed that up with an argyle strip from my scraps (DCWV) and two orange diagonal striped strips from my scraps (DCWV) which I punched with one of my Fiskars border punches. After taping those strips together to make the center background for my card front, I stuck the whole thing down with foam tape (had to get it over the top of my embroidery stitches). I cut three silk sunflowers off the floral bunches they came on and hot-glued them to the front of the card. To finish, I stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment (Inkadinkadoo image) on some plain yellow cardstock using VersaColor bark pigment ink, sprinkled American Crafts Zing! chestnut embossing powder on and heat-embossed it. I trimmed the corners with my corner-shaper punch and gave it a bit of VersaColor orange pigment ink distressing. It is mounted to the bottom with foam tape. I used VersaColor marigold pigment ink to add edge-distressing on the round card front and bottom. And there you have it! I liked the way it turned out and will definitely make another easel card, although I may not make it in a circle.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Wolf Birthday Card

Our son-in-law Larry will be celebrating a birthday this weekend. I had gotten this image in an exchange with another cardmaker on Paper Craft Planet; as soon as I saw it, I thought of my son-in-law and the card I would make for him. My thanks to Terrie Woodford in Alberta, Canada for sending me this image & several others. Terrie said that this image comes from a 2003 release by Sugar Loaf.

I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to do justice to coloring the image, but I think I did okay. I used Crayola and RoseArt colored pencils to color in most of the image. I did use a black BIC Mark-it on the eyes, nose, and mouth, however. Once I had the image colored, putting down layers of colors, I went back over the image with a paper stub and odorless mineral spirits to blend the colors.

The image is mounted on a rectangle of black Best Occasions glitter paper from WalMart. The two different black background papers are by DCWV. The green striped strip is from my scraps. I used a Martha Stewart punch along the edges of the green strip. The sentiment is stamped with an Inkadinkadoo wood-mount stamp and adhered with foam tape.

I apologize for the skewed image. I should have scanned the card a second time, but I was too lazy to do so. And there you have it...

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Another Orange Birthday Card

My inspiration for this card began with that stamped floral scallop strip. I like the way that looks so much! I am going to have to try some of my other small stamps, though, to see what other effects I can come up with. Besides the stamped strip, I also wanted to do some freeform machine stitching on this card and use more of the raffia ribbon.

The gingham check background paper is from DCWV. The darker orange floral cardstock mat came from my scraps. I cut out the little stamped flowers, extras at the end of my stamped strip, and glued them in place. The vintage flower seed print is a digital image from Dover, which I colored with my BIC Mark-It's and gel pens. I also used a little distress ink on the image (may not do that again as I didn't really like it). The image was mounted on foam tape. And there you have it.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Get Well Card

My dear daughter, Holly, was sick earlier this week. She caught a bug that was making the rounds of the assisted living home where she is a personal care worker. I thought a card might make her feel a little better. Her favorite color is blue, just like me, so I took another stamped scallop border and used yellow and blue to color it. The piece of floral paper at the bottom I think came from JoAnn's open stock. The patterned paper at the top is from DCWV. I cut a scallop along the edge of this paper so that it would look like the stamped border was cut with a scallop on both sides. The big oval was punched from white cardstock with my big Marvy punch--loving that thing!--then stamped with a Stampin' Up! image from an older wood-mount set I have. I colored the image with my BIC markers and gave it some background interest with a couple VersaColor ink pads. I think those are my favorite ink pads! I use them all the time to ink-distress edges. And there you have it! I thought it turned out nicely.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Two Bright & Cheery Cards

This card started with the scalloped flower border. On someone's blog (really, I OUGHT to keep track of where I see these great ideas!), they stamped a design in the scallops of a border and I thought it was such a great idea that I took a look at my stamps to see what I had that was small enough to fit in the scallops cut with a Fiskars shape scissors. This is what I came up with. The two little flowers are part of a wood-mount stamp set I have, origin unknown. I wanted to do a sunflower theme on this card, at least that was the idea when I started out. The card base is the bright orange you see on the far left of the card. I stuck the border down first, then built the rest of the card around it. Okay, I'll tell on myself: the border was supposed to go on the right side but I didn't realize I had the card base turned the wrong way until I already had the border stuck down. Oops! But I've learned to turn those kind of oopses into pluses. I think this card actually turned out better BECAUSE of my oops.

I ink-distressed the edge of the border and added a row of faux stitching. Then I cut a piece of orange & yellow diagonal print paper, added a scallop border to that, and ink-distressed the scalloped edge. The shaped die-cut is my own pattern, hand-cut and ink-distressed, from a piece of glittery floral cardstock in colors that worked just right with my design. I stamped the focal image and colored it with BIC Mark-It! pens, giving the background a "wash" with a couple pastel Prang markers. I added a paper raffia ribbon, using two colors of orange twisted together, and tied into a bow. The stamped central image is mounted with foam tape.

The background paper and the glittery floral cardstock are from DCWV stacks. The inks are VersaColors. The stamped "hello friend" image is by Hero Arts, one of their individual acrylic images.

This card went to a gal named Bobbie who has a stamp/scrapbook store in Kenyon, MN called The Secret Window. This was for a card swap in the Yahoo group Crazy Card Makers. She said she was displaying my card in her store. How cool is that!?!

After the card for Bobbie, I was still on a roll with the orange theme. As a general rule, orange is not a color I am drawn to; it's probably the color I like the least in the general scheme of things. But for some reason, as autumn approaches, which is my favorite season of the year, orange becomes one of those colors I can't seem to get enough of. I have a 3rd card in progress on my work area that uses orange also.

For this card, I started with a sketch from the talented folks over at Card Positioning Systems, using the current sketch #179. I have loads of stuff in my sewing stash that I can use on cards and when I saw this sketch, I knew I wanted to use some of my ric-rac on it. I had this lovely red-orange ric-rac and found the gold braid to go with it, which I machine-stitched to my paper background, more of that orange/yellow diagonal stripe from DCWV. The yellow argyle print is also a DCWV paper, from one of their big stacks. The flowers are stamped and colored with BIC Mark-it! markers, using two of the flowers in the acrylic set 'Flowers' from the Autumn Leaves folks. I cut the flowers out after I colored them, adding some Stickles accents to their centers, then mounted them with foam tape on scalloped circles punched from a yellow dotted cardstock. I ink-distressed the edges of things, as you can see. Two of the flowers are mounted with foam tape on the argyle background to give dimension to the design. This is a blank card to send as a note to someone so I didn't put a sentiment on the front.

And there you have it. Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

An Organizational Notebook

I have reached the place in my cardmaking where I've accumulated enough supplies in certain areas that it is helpful to have a record of what I have so I don't purchase more of the same. Unfortunately, I didn't have this little notebook with me last night when we were at K-Mart and I bought a whole other set of Bic Mark-It markers identical to the ones I already have. Bummer! I thought I was getting some new colors. On the bright side, I have replacements ready to hand now if the ones I've been using run out.

So anyway, besides the stamp image index that I mentioned in my previous post, where I've stamped images of each stamp I have and sorted them into categories in a 3-ring binder, I decided it would be helpful to have a purse-sized notebook I could carry with me that would help me remember which inks, punches, etc I already own. I have a couple of these handy-dandy index card notebooks on hand and thought it would make a nice, sturdy notebook for my purposes. I had thought to decorate it and make it all pretty like you see on papercrafting blogs where people doll up boring journals, but I decided against that idea after considering what carrying it in my purse would do to all the things I might adhere to the cover. So it is going to stay boring.

Inside, I have sections for inks, punches, glitter glue, embossing powders, and markers, so far. Here are some samples of my pages...

First, a page showing some of my pigment inks by name and color swatch. I used cotton swabs to "stamp" the color swatches. I also put a dot of the ink color on the back of the VersaColor pads, so I can see easily what color the ink pad is. I store my ink pads upside down and even though the VersaColor pads have their color name printed on the bottom, it's nice to see what the color looks like, too.

Next up is a page from my punches section, showing samples from each punch, along with its name.

Here's a page from my glitter glue section, with the name of the glitter and a sample of it. I had to be VERY careful when I did this page.

Lastly, is a page from my new marker section, showing names and color swatches of my Bic Mark-It pens. Now, as long as I remember to carry this notebook with me, I won't be fooled into buying more Bics that I already own.

So there you have it...another organizational tool. As I think of other items to keep track of, I'll add a section for them to my little notebook. Oh yes, one other tip...the section tabs are made from labels that I rescued from the trash at my previous place of employment. I cut them in half to use them as tabs. They work really good for this! Thankfully, I have a nice stack of these labels saved. Sometime I might try stamping on them and using them on a card, especially the white ones. Just another frugal tip for how to make your own stickers or file tabs.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Sharing My Cardmaking Center With You

In this photo, you can see my colored pencil storage--a repurposed silverware basket from a dishwasher, just one of those odds & ends I've accumulated from family. Under it in the striped box are all of my VersaColor pigment ink pads. The blue plastic box beneath that holds the rest of my pigment ink pads, my glue pad, and my vellum pigment markers.

Behind that stack, is my "new" pen/marker storage unit I made last night. I took a cardboard box that was saved from a book shipment, 11 empty Pringles cans from my stash (ALWAYS save things like that!), and a roll of yellow duct tape. I folded the bottom flap on the box into the box, adding a fold about 3/4" up, so that it would make a slanted base on the inside of the box for the Pringles cans to rest on. Duct tape holds everything in place. Then I folded the other 3 box flaps to the outside and duct taped those down tight. In my experience, doing this helps to reinforce the edges of the box, whether you are making a file box or a storage unit. After the box was prepared, I cut each of the cans off at 4 1/2", using the top half of each can for my storage unit. The bottoms & lids went back into my stash for another project some day (yes, I have a BIG house--full basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor, & full attic that is finished--so I have room to store stuff and I don't mind clutter). The top two Pringles cans had to be squashed slightly to get them to fit into the space left, but no big deal. After that it was a simple matter of sorting my markers by color and type. The spaces between the Pringles cans & the box were also utilized to hold supplies that I use frequently. I HAVE to have the things I use most close to hand! As you can see, my new storage unit isn't the prettiest thing on the block, but it works slick and it cost me nothing (I ate all those Pringles a long time ago--potato chips are a weakness that I'm trying to avoid).

In the photo, you can also see the base of my lamp and part of my work area. Notice that even the lamp serves dual purpose as a place to post notes. It also holds a multi-purpose pedicure brush which I thought to use as a distressing tool for cards.

This is a closer view of my new pen/marker storage unit.

Now this pic is of my actual work area. First of all, the table is my grandmother's old kitchen table, an antique with a great deal of sentimental value to me. It is a drop leaf table that comes with 3 leaves so it can expand to seat quite a number of people. I don't have any of the leaves in it and one leaf is down.

All of my most-used tools and supplies are close to hand. The pencil boxes hold tools and other items. I bought these boxes at K-Mart, but I noticed this year that they aren't selling this design any more, which is too bad because they stack up so nice & neat. The pencil holder is a ceramic cup/vase/holder(?), another old item that I picked up somewhere. Behind it is a Nestles Tollhouse Cookies tin; I love tins! I keep my little hammer for setting eyelets in there. My roll of double-sided carpet tape is towards the left, near the base of the lamp--gotta have that stuff!

In this view, you can see the storage drawer units that fit into my work space. The small white drawer unit on the table holds stamps and embossing powders. There is a metal box on top of that drawer unit with my gel pens and on top of that is my Fiskars 12" sliding cutter. My Fiskars 9" guillotine cutter sits on top of the white drawer unit under the extended leaf of the table to my right. That top drawer holds more of my wooden stamps, along with my dye ink pads and acrylic blocks. The blue drawer unit has 4 storage boxes stacked on top of it that hold embellishments, as do the drawers of the unit, except for the bottom drawer which is full of punches. The pink drawer unit has adhesives & other supplies in the top drawer, paper embellishments in the middle drawer, and ribbon in the bottom drawer. My cardboard box file of cardstock scraps is sitting on the floor in front of the pink drawer unit. Behind the pink drawer unit are two chairs holding 2 big boxes, like banana boxes, (1) full of miscellaneous stuff to use on cards and (2) of wallpaper samples I've removed from their books. I should mention the indispensible red circular "file" sitting to the right of my chair--can't do without that!

Another view of my area, showing that it's only part of my study. Most of my cardmaking books are on the top shelf of that bookshelf you can see behind my cardmaking area. My desk/study area is back in the corner of the room, by the window. That's been my corner ever since we moved into this house back in April 1988. This room used to be our schoolroom during all the years we homeschooled, which is why you'll notice a black chalkboard on the wall in one of the pics and a few other things still sitting around. We also own a considerable game collection, which occupies a lot of space in this room.

Another view of my room, showing the things that sit behind my work space. Those are two old student school chairs (don't have any of the school desks any more, though) which hold a file box and my old suitcase full of my giftwrap paper stash. The wide drawer unit you see farther back holds more cardmaking supplies and my larger edge punches.

Here's a closer view of my cardstock and paper storage, located right behind where I sit to make cards. Yes, that is a real slate chalkboard on the wall. When the grandchildren are over, I have to move my stuff so they can stand on the chairs to draw on the chalkboard; it's a family favorite. I was fortunate to get it from an old school that was being dismantled.

Anyway, in this picture you can see my cardboard file box on one of the chairs and my old suitcase of giftwrap papers on the other chair. The large green binder sitting on the floor holds a collection of pics of all the cards I've made since 2007. The rolling wooden cart holds my cardstock and unused papers. More of my wood-mounted stamps are stacked on the cart, too. Notice that I make file boxes out of old cardboard boxes. I like having my cardstock and papers standing up whenever possible.

Behind the chairs, in front of the chalkboard, there's another repurposed box holding 8 1/2"x11" papers. Tip: empty diaper & baby wipes boxes make really great storage boxes for magazines and other 8 1/2"x11" papers. They're sturdy AND have hand openings! There are also a couple of binders here, one with an index of all my stamped images, the other holding card sketches. Next to those in the other stack is an old black plastic tackle box that holds miscellaneous things to use on cards, then the purple box holds wood-mount stamps and the black & yellow shoebox holds most of my acrylic stamp sets in file format. I have to say, it's a LOT easier to store acrylic stamps than it is to store wood-mount stamps, but I like both. And I'm NOT going to pull all of my rubber stamps off their wood mounts, like some have done.

Well, there you have it. This is what my space looks like right now. One advantage to the kind of storage I use is that it can be reorganized and rearranged as desired, whenever needed. I did take pics of the rest of my room, but decided NOT to let you see all the rest of my cluttered corners. One corner has like 33 wallpaper sample books stacked up in it; those things take up a lot of space! Needless to say, I file things into stacks. For the most part, I know what I have and where it is. And as you may be saying to yourself, I am definitely a "saver" and a "messy" or whatever other term you care to call all my colorful clutter. I find it motivating. I can't stand empty spaces or white walls! I think there's a saying in science about nature abhors a vacuum--so do I! LOL! Hopefully, my cardmaking space hasn't shocked you too badly. :o)

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

You're Special Card For A Grandson

Monday August 9th is our grandson Easton's You're Special day. This is my own family tradition, began about 6 years ago when Tim & I decided to no longer celebrate Christmas. You're Special days happen six months from a person's birthday, sort of like a half-birthday, but in our case, a day to say You Are Special to us. A few years back our oldest grandson Kyler decided would be nicer to spend the day with Grandma than to get another gift and since then that has been the plan on the grandchildren's You're Special days. I still make cards for our children and their spouses to honor their You're Special days. I regret to admit that I'd let my busy schedule, particularly when I was in school over the past year, interfere with making cards for my grandchildren on their You're Special days. I'm trying to rectify that situation, beginning with this card for Easton.

I began with the background I had initially intended to use with the lighthouse image in my previous post, but once I added the zigzag faux stitching, it just wasn't working, so I set it aside and started over with the background you see on that card. However, THIS background said to me that it would work just right with the leopard print I digitized from a calendar image. I mounted the image on a dark brown piece of cardstock. I also added straight faux stitching to the center strip of background paper (recognize the two prints from the lighthouse card? yep, it's the same paper), then adhered the leopard print to the center. I like it a lot! I hope Easton does, too. I think he will; he loves animals. And I know we are going to have fun together tomorrow!

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Lighthouse Challenge Birthday

As a general rule, I don't make cards without having a person in mind to receive that card. This card was no exception. I needed to make a birthday card for our sister-in-law Ingrid who lives in Georgia, while at the same time over at Paper Craft Planet in the group Anything But Cute to which I belong, there's a challenge going on to make a card using lighthouse images. I don't own any stamps with lighthouses, so I had to turn to other options.

For this card, I used a digitized adaptation of a wallpaper border from my stash of wallpaper samples (the border is too big to use on a card as is). I mounted the lighthouse image on a dark green piece of cardstock from my scrap bag, then onto a piece of medium blue cardstock, also from the scrap bag. I used a Bic marker to add faux stitching on the blue piece and cut a scalloped edge with shape scissors. The background paper is a digital print from a tile by Kitty Wompus. The three other pieces of circle print papers are from a ScrapbookScrapbook digital print. I ink-distressed the edges of those three papers with Baby Blue VersaColor ink. To complete the card, I added layered buttons, cream & shades of blue, tied with brown embroidery floss, and mounted the matted image with foam tape. I was really pleased with the way this card turned out and hope our sister-in-law likes it.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Belated Birthday Turtle

I wanted to make a birthday card for a friend who moved away, but I didn't get around to it in time, so on her actual birthday I was busy making this card. The stamp is an Inkadinkadoo design. I colored it with Sharpie markers and colored pencil, also going over the stamped sentiment with Sharpie marker. The background paper is a digital print from DAISIE Company, (I'm liking their digital clipart a lot). I added ribbons and sequin "bubbles." I hope she likes it. I didn't do a lot with this card because the background paper is so pretty that I didn't want to detract from it.

And there you have it! Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Word Fitly Spoken

Sometimes things pop up in our interpersonal relationships that catch us by surprise. That happened to me this week, when I received a heart-wrenching letter from one of my daughters. She shared years of emotional hurt and feelings of insignificance with me, feelings I had no idea she was struggling with. Though it was a painful letter to receive and I cried, I believe it will lead to better things in our relationship and for my daughter as a person. I made this quick card to send to her in reply to let her know how much I love her.

I started with the heart flower image, which is clipart from, then sorted through my scraps to find papers that would coordinate with the colors in the clipart. The center image of the clipart square is stacked, like a 3-D image, with foam tape. I colored the heart in with Sharpie marker and covered it with Clear Accent. There's a piece of lavender grosgrain ribbon under the top layer of the image. I added sequin butterflies, adhering them with Zots (a recent purchase on my oldest daughter's recommendation so thought I'd give them a try), and ink-distressed the edges of parts of the card. The sentiment is computer-printed.

I hope that the message in this card will minister to my daughter's feelings of insignificance and help to restore her sense of self-worth. Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Using A Favorite Template Again

This is a birthday card which I made for the young man I have been supporting in the Philippines through the ministry of Compassion. John Mark is going to be 17 years old in late September. I thought it would be nice to use a realistic scene from our part of the world on his card. This photo came from the cover of an old Our Daily Bread devotional by the good folks at RBC Ministries; I've been reading their Our Daily Bread devotional since I was a teen. Too bad I didn't save all those cover photos!

Once I had the picture chosen, I looked for papers to go with it. The background paper I used was a single sheet of 12"x12" paper I had in my stash. I don't know who published it. Then I went to my stash of scraps to find pieces to cut the hinges (aka tags, arrows, or whatever you think they look like) from. This template, which I made, is turning out to be one of my favorites. I drew "brads" on the hinges with Sharpie marker and covered them with Clear Accent. I also ink-distressed the edges of the hinges to give them a little added definition.

There you have it! Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Big Fish

This card is on its way to our son-in-law Levi, married to my daughter Holly. He likes to fish. I just bought this stamp, a wood-mounted rubber stamp, at a little store in our area that sells scrapbooking stuff. They had their stamps on sale, to make room for new stock, so I decided to take advantage of the sale. I am liking this stamp a lot! Since most of our son-in-laws are into hunting and fishing, this stamp is likely to get a lot of use.

So anyway, I stamped the fish twice on white cardstock, colored both images with colored pencils (Crayola and RoseArt--nothing fancy), then layered one over the other onto the "wood" mount, using foam tape to pop the top image. The "wood" mount is cut from textured brown cardstock, using my own shape template, and given a "beveled" edge with Sharpie markers. The green plaid paper behind is a wallpaper sample. I wanted this to look like a trophy fish mounted on a plaque and hung on the wall. I added gold triangle brads for an extra touch. Simple but effective, and definitely masculine!

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

A Little Hoppy

A while back I came across a cardmaking blog with a request for frog cards to be sent to her sister who was battling terminal cancer. Unfortunately, I didn't make a note of which blog it was; I only copied down the sister's mailing address. I obtained this great freebie digitial stamp from Whimsy Stamps and couldn't resist using it on an encouragement card for this gal. I only hope I didn't take too long in getting the card into the mail, but the LORD knows and I trust that He will use it to bless in His perfect plan.

The frog was colored with Bic markers and cut out. I punched a circle from green paper using one of my Fiskars circle punches (I've got them, I might as well use them-right?) to put behind the frog. I cut rectangles out of three complementary pieces of scrap paper, added a strip from another piece of scrap paper (under the frog's footsies), then finished up with a strip of peel & stick paper ribbon purchased from PaperWishes and bling flowers from WalMart. I used foam tape under the frog's hand & the umbrella to add a bit of dimension to her form. Oh yes, I can't forget that I gave her sparkly eyebrows with a touch of Stickles. She's quite the diva, you see! LOL! I love this frog!

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Swat's Up?

I belong to this great cardmaking group on Yahoo groups called Crazy Card Makers (check it out!). We have swaps each month that you can participate in. I made this card for the Don't Bug Me themed-swap. I had been sorting my rubber stamps and saw this fly stamp (it's rubber on foam and I think it may be a Stampendous design--don't have that info any more). Thinking of flies led me to flyswatters and picnics. The background paper is from one of my DCWV stack packs and seemed to holler "picnic" all over it. I stamped the fly images, heat-embossed them, then used colored pencil to highlight their wings & bodies. I made the little flyswatter using a length of floral wire I had handy. I made the mesh portion with drywall tape, then hand-stitched around the frame of the swatter to anchor the tape and make it look more authentic. The swatter is hot-blued to the card front. The flies are attached with foam tape. The little sentiment tag is hand-lettered; the "brads" are red marker circles covered with Clear Accent. Again, I ink-distressed the edges of things, one of my favorite techniques to soften and blend edges.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Two In Brown

A couple of weeks ago I happened to catch a Freecycle post from a gal in our area in which she offered to give away some rubber stamps and other things. I contacted her and was blessed to be her choice to receive those items. My eldest daughter Venetta and I divied out the goodies: Stampin' Up! stamps and 12"x12" papers and other odds & ends. What a blessing! I'm not sure which thrilled me more: the stamps or the papers.

So of course, I had to make a thank you card and this is what I came up with. I was thinking of a challenge over at PaperCraft Planet in the Anything But Cute group to make a card using brown & just one other color. These papers were in with those I received, as were the two stamps I've used on this card. I used my big Marvy punch to punch out the scalloped oval. To add the small punches inside the scallops, I used my small hole punch. The stamped writing in the background is the Thank You stamp, done with tan ink. Then I stamped the long-legged birds over the writing. Some ink-distressing and a border using my favorite Martha Stewart punch and there you have it!

This birthday card was made for my Sweetheart's cousin Sherry. I was on a roll here with the brown & turquoise. I'd wanted to use this felt border (purchased from the dollar bins at Michaels) on the previous card, but it didn't fit, so I made this card to feature that border. I added wooden beads and the chocolate bunny button. The sentiment is a stamped tag, highlighted with gel pen and Sharpie marker. I carried the card upstairs to my sewing room to add the sewn lines. A little ink-distressing on the edges of things and there you have it.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

For My Sweetheart's Birthday

My sweetheart Tim (yes, he's STILL my sweetheart after 14 1/2 yrs of marriage!) observed his 51st birthday on July 18. I wanted to make him a special card, but struggle to get my cards for him "just right." Maybe because he is so special to me, I find it harder to make cards for him that truly express how much I love him and am thankful to have him in my life.

At any rate, I tried a couple of things but they weren't working out. Then I came up with this sentiment and the card began to come together. It wasn't particularly hard. All of the scalloped circles were cut with a punch. I made a circle template for the plain circles behind the scalloped circles. I ink-distressed edges and layered everything. I was aiming for colors and a quilted look, both of which I think I achieved.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

You're Special Card for Daughter

I wanted to use a paint chip card on this You're Special card for my daughter. As I pondered how to make this card, I happened to wonder if I could score & fold the paint chip card. When I did, it worked beautifully and made me think of the striped awnings that used to be over storefronts. So I cut a scallop template that fit the lines on the paint chip card, then cut the scalloped edge by hand. The lower part of the awning is popped up with foam tape. I turned to my stash of wonderful old Hallmark and American Greetings giftwrap papers I have to get the floral background paper. I also stamped the two vases & flowers that are in them, colored them with my Bic markers, cut them out and adhered them in the corner on top of the giftwrap paper background. The sentiment is computer-printed. I was quite pleased with the way the card turned out! And my daughter Venetta, my lovely eldest daughter (I have 5 of them), loved it also, which made it all worthwhile!

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Two For The Guys

This card was created for our son-in-law Bradley, hubby of my stepdaughter Paige. I'd seen a card using a similar layout but done on the vertical. I wanted the card to fit into a business-sized envelope, which gave me a nice sized "palette" to work with. I cut my own template for the arrows, then scrounged through my scrap papers to find black & white designs that would work well with the red background paper. I added two black buttons and two white brads. The sentiment is computer-printed and the edges ink-distressed. I saw this sentiment somewhere and thought it would work perfectly for You're Special cards, which this one is, or for 'just because' cards when there is no specific occasion to send a card.

Hint: I've just started keeping a journal, one of those $1 kinds you find at Dollar Tree or JoAnn's, to write down the neat sentiments or sayings I come across, along with scriptures that work well on cards, so I don't have all these bits & pieces of scraps laying around with things written on them and can readily locate them when I'm making up a computer page of sayings to print out.

This birthday card was for our son-in-law Jordon, married to my daughter Megan. He loves to hunt and fish so the design seemed particularly appropriate. The Wilderness Campground image with the bear on it is from a digi set I bought from DAISIE Company. I mounted that square onto a torn, crumpled piece of kraft paper (used a paper grocery bag). The wilderness map & green pine tree papers came in a masculine set I bought at a Pamida a couple years back. The pinecone cutouts are from another piece of paper in that same set. The sentiment tag is a free digi I found online, touched up with Sharpie marker, and ink-distressed.

There you have it! Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Bird Watcher Swap Card

This is another of my favorite cards. I love the country look and I like chickens a lot. This image comes from, one of my favorite sites for clipart. Laurie Furnell has GREAT sets! This card was made for another Crazy Card Makers swap--Bird Watcher. A chicken IS a bird, right? The card begins with a cardstock base, then I layered brown cardstock and a dark blue scrap of a wallpaper sample. On top of that, I used a piece of maize-colored gingham wallpaper sample, edged with cardstocks that are edge-punched with my favorite Martha Stewart doily punch. I "borrowed" the sentiment and printed it out on my computer, inking the edges and adding three little brads. To complete the card, I added faux stitching by hand with a Sharpie marker.

There you have it. Next up are a couple of cards for family special days, but I'm saving those for another post. Til then, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Going Green Card

I like this card! Green is probably my second favorite color, after blue, and this card is so soothing to look at. I made it for a Going Green swap challenge in my Crazy Card Makers group. I began with a printed cardstock base. Then I cut a square of solid green and cut slots on all four sides to thread strips of green print through. I also cut squares of printed papers to put on top of the solid square, using pinking shears on the edges. The two papers on the right are prints of digital papers, while those on the left are from DCWV. I added brads, a 3-D floral sticker, and a stamped sentiment. The two little butterflies are brads, too.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Crazy Color Card

This crazy color card (well, what ELSE would you call it?) was created for a swap in the Crazy Card Makers group that I belong to. The swap was called the Letter C. For this card, I thought of C as "crazy" like in a crazy quilt and "color". I had this great quilted scrapbook paper that says 'Marrakech' on the bottom--sorry, I don't have the rest of the info--and wanted to use it. I also had this geometric image from Dover, which I did my best to color with Bic markers to match the colors in the quilted paper (it doesn't look like such a great match after I finished). The blue micro-dotted background paper is from a DCWV stack, as is the other dotted paper. I also used a scrap of a red striped paper from DCWV. The Dover image was covered with Glossy Accents and adhered with foam tape on top of the other papers. I added faux stitching that I did by hand, using a gel pen for the white stitches and a Sharpie marker for the zigzag stitches.

The card isn't in my usual color choices or style. I think it's quite gaudy, to be honest, but I also found that it "grew" on me, the longer I looked at it.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Life Is Just A Bowl of Cherries

This card began with the image, a motif from my stash of old giftwrap papers. I added a twig from our yard, silk blossoms, brads to imitate cherries, and layered all of that over a strip of gingham wallpaper sample, red & cream cardstocks with scissor-cut scallops and Martha Stewart doily punched edging, on top of a dark green wallpaper sample. I think I'll use this for a Thinking of You card.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One Last June Cards Post

This pocket card is one of my very favorites. I love the colors and the design. The background paper comes from a DCWV stack pack, their Flower Shower Spring Stack to be exact. The floral paper is giftwrap paper. I added a border punched strip of white cardstock to the top of the pocket, trimmed with ribbon and a ribbon bow.

This pic shows the little card that goes inside the pocket of the main card. The stamped image is part of a set from Stampin' Up, I believe (I got it second-hand as a gift). I colored it with my Bic markers, then inked the edges.

This is the inside of the main card, as you lift the front flap. You get two sentiments for the price of one with this card.

This card is another of my favorites. I've had a lot of those lately, haven't I? This card started with the image of the bird's nest, which I copied from a book of bird nest illustrations available on the Smithsonian Libraries Digital Libraries website. I apologize for not making note of the artist's name. I LOVE the vintage seed & nursery catalog covers you can find there as well. I haven't had time to explore all the digital stuff archived there, but it looks like a treasure trove. The background paper seemed to fit the image so well, that all I needed to add was the bundle of twigs, from one of our trees, wrapped with a hemp string tied in a bow.

I write to a serviceman in our Armed Forces, the Army to be precise, serving overseas. I got his name and address from this organization: Adopt A US This year I thought it would be appropriate to make a special card to send to him for our nation's Independence Day. I've never made a card for that holiday before so this was a bit of a challenge. I found this cute digi stamp image offered on the Stars & Stripes Operation Write Home blog, shared by The Stamping Boutique. The image is colored with Bic markers and given some heat embossed accents. I had to ask my sweetheart what colors to use for the little man's uniform as I didn't know what branch of the military this uniform most closely resembled; my sweetheart, who was himself in the Marines and who comes from a military family (Army & Marines), said that it looked the most like the Marines dress blues, so that is how I tried to color it. I used another wooden stamp that I have to do the fireworks on the sentiment tag; I colored the stamp with Crayola markers to get this effect. The round red seal is another stamped image, this time with one of those $1 wooden stamps from JoAnn's or Michaels. The gold button came from my button stash in the sewing room--it looks a lot like the seal of our country, which was too perfect not to use, even though I still think I should have hot-glued the thing down flat instead of just sewing it on where the ribbon is attached. The red shaped mat under the image is cut by hand, using my own template. A couple of star-shaped brads added a nice touch. The diagonal striped paper in the background is from a DCWV stack pack.

My last card for June is a birthday card for my sweetheart's brother Terry. I used clipart from DAISIE Company, which I recently purchased. The papers are from the same graphics pack. I added a mat of brown textured cardstock behind the central image, distressing the edges. I also added a strip of cork on which I mounted the sentiment, edges inked, and 2 bronze dragonflies. The card edges and the smaller printed paper are inked for effect as well.
Well, that does it for my June cardmaking. July is just getting started and I have a card on the work table now. I signed up for 3 swaps in the Crazy Card Maker group for the first half of the month and have a LONG list of other cards for family that I need to make. It feels good to be creative and make cards, though. Those months when I was busy with schoolwork it was very hard to find time to make cards. Cardmaking, along with other creative pursuits, is stress-relieving for me so I'm going to have to find ways to keep it in my schedule, no matter how much other stuff I have to do. Hopefully, it works the same for you.

Til my next post, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

My June Cards Pt. 3

Yet one more with the wallpaper samples...this one used the rest of that pretty border on the big card, along with the background paper. I added a piece of textured light blue cardstock and half the other half of the paper doily I had left from one of the previous cards. Simple, but attractive, I think, and a nice Thinking of You card.

This was my attempt to recreate another card I saw on someone's blog. The flower is stamped with a big foam stamp that I inked with Crayola markers. I stamped it twice, then layered the two images, adding dry embossing to the petals on the top layer and curling the petals slightly. The center of the flower is Fun Flock, the first time I've used that. The stamped sentiment is one of those $1 stamps you can pick up at JoAnn's or Michaels and is heat-embossed. I added lines with my sparkly black gel pen after the stamped image. The two print papers are from DCWV stack packs. This card traveled to Jo in England for another Crazy Card Maker Anything Goes swap.

This cute little dog is a foam stamp, colored in with Bic markers, and given a puff paint scarf. He holds a birthday balloon on a card made for our grandson Connor, who is now 4 years old. The image on the balloon is from the Two You set from Stampendous; I just cut the balloon around the image. A bit of hemp string connects the dog and the balloon. The papers are from a DCWV stack pack. This card is one of my favorites.

My dear old friend Connie--old as in we've known each other for a long time, not old as in years, although she has a few on me but I'm not saying how many--loves pigs. She's been collecting pig stuff for as long as I can remember, even had quite a few of the real deal for many years. My oldest daughter Venetta is also a cardmaker and had this balloon pig stamp so I begged some images from her for this card for Connie. I love that little piggie! I colored each differently, using Bic markers and Crayola colored pencils. In case you don't know, real pigs come in many color variations and designs. I've always been a sucker for the little spotted ones. Using hemp, I tied the balloons to a digital printed tag that I colored with Bic markers and the Crayola pencils. The Happy Birthday background paper was purchased out of the open stock 12"x12" scrapbooking papers at JoAnn's. I used black cardstock on a white base card. Connie loved the card, which makes me a happy camper, although just looking at my pic of this card makes me a happy camper. I think that means I like this card, don't you?

One more in this post...this pretty black, white, and red card is a high school graduation congratulations card made for my niece Malinda. The image is a digi-freebie from the Digital Two For Tuesday blog. I colored her with Crayola colored pencils and some Bic marker touches. I used watercolor pencils for the background in the image. The image is matted on black and white cardstocks. The papers are from a DCWV stack pack. I printed the sentiment on the computer and inked the edges. I REALLY need to get more red pigment ink pads so I can do a better job of matching colors (note to self). Three red brads completed the card.

Well, that's it for this post. I only have one more post to go to finish showing you all my June cards. Til then, happy cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

My June Cards Pt. 2

While sorting through my wallpaper samples, of which I have a great many, I found this beautiful wallpaper border. I could not resist using it on a card, but it was too big for the size of card I usually make (5"x6 5/8") so I had to go with a half-fold card. I don't usually make cards that big, but this one just called for it. The whole card uses wallpaper samples--the border, as well as the background paper. The sentiment is computer printed and inked.

A word about my wallpaper sample "collection"...I started collecting wallpaper sample books when my children were still young and being homeschooled. I would go to home improvement stores & places that I knew sold paint & stuff and ask them if they had any outdated books I could take off their hands. Most gave them away, though a couple stores doled them out a book or two per person to ensure that teachers could get their hands on them, too. We used papers out of those books for many art & craft projects. Eventually I got tired of the big stack of books so pulled them all apart and put the papers in a big box. When I started cardmaking, I pulled that box back out and started collecting more sample books. Most of the books I have now I purchased for $5 each at Menards; some I received from two area stores that carry wallpaper and give their outdated books away--but you have to get there & ask at just the right time, so mostly I buy books from Menards. Right now I have over 30 wallpaper sample books so I don't think I'll be picking any more up soon, since they do take up quite a lot of room. The papers are great, though! One word of advice: usual double-sided tape will not hold on vinyl wallpapers. You have to use Tacky glue or double-sided carpet tape. There may be other adhesives that work, but those are the two that I know personally work and which I use. I have not tried using prepasted wallpaper leftovers from papering jobs, so I don't know how that would work on cards, although I wouldn't let that stop me if it was a paper I really liked and wanted to use. You can only learn by trying.

This is another card made using wallpaper samples. Again, I was taken by this simple floral border, which being narrower I was able to use on my normal sized card. The gingham print is the coordinating wallpaper. I added half of a paper doily and a ribbon bow. The card is blank inside to use as a thinking of you notecard.

The last week of May I spent a week on a cultural immersion trip to the Lac Court Orielles Indian Reservation (Ojibwe People) in northern Wisconsin. The trip was sponsored and paid for by the Univ. of Wis.-Eau Claire where I am a fulltime student. One of the other students along on the trip was a pretty Hmong girl named Yia (pronounced like E-ya) who also likes to make cards. I told her I would send her one of my cards and this is what I made for her. The image is a digital image of vintage roses which made me think of Yia as soon as I saw it. The teal and rose pink cardstock and the background paper were chosen to coordinate with the colors in the image. I am liking that sentiment a lot and you'll see it used frequently on Thinking of You cards.

My daughter Lois celebrated her 31st birthday in June. Goodness, how quickly those children grow up! She's my second-oldest and mother of 4 of our grandchildren. Her favorite color is purple and she loves butterflies. I'd seen a card made up like this on someone's blog and loved it so thought I would try my hand at it. I cut my own butterfly template, then cut out 5 butterflies from different scraps of paper. I raided my button stash in the sewing room for the buttons, then threaded them with colored hemp, leaving the ends stick up like antennae--I love that effect! The sentiment is stamped and heat-embossed. The background paper is cardstock from a DCWV stack pack. Lois loved her card, which is what I was hoping for. I rather like it myself!

Again with the wallpaper samples to make another blank Thinking of You card. This used up the rest of the wallpaper border print and nearly all of the matching blue gingham print. I added two doily halves this time and a yellow ribbon bow.

Well, I'm about half way through the cards for June, so will bring this post to a close and keep going. Happy Cardmaking! Take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!