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!