Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge #136 (Psalm 119:105)

Stampin' Sisters in Christ Challenge #136 is to use soft pastels (with black/white as a neutral):

I've never participated in one of their challenges but I love how each of them is inspired by Scripture and how the challenge hostess shares a thought-provoking devotional.  For me (without getting too wordy!) all the wonders of Springtime are one of the ways God shows his "light" in my life.  I still feel a thrill every time I can see the first signs of the perennials coming up in my garden or when I catch sight of a butterfly flitting around the backyard.  These things are a reminder to me to slow down that "to do" list constantly streaming in my mind and to really see life and the world around me. 
Materials Used:
Hero Arts La Letter, Just Because (butterfly), Birthday, snow layering paper and clear gems
Stampin' Up Inspired By Nature, pretty in pink cs and ink
A Muse pink gingham pp
Ranger worn lipstick and antique linen distress inks
Michael's black cs and pearls

Thanks for all your lovely comments!  Hope you take the time to "smell a few roses" today :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Cut Above (Bonus Day) and PDCC128

Saturday was a pleasant surprise as the online card class A Cut Above featured a bonus class about utilizing negative spaces from die cuts.

I decided to use the colors from the current Play Date Cafe Color Challenge for my card:

I just love how these vibrant colors pop against white:

Notice how the die cut bird is flush with the stamped panel?  Wish I could take credit for this genius idea but it's a technique I saw on Jennifer McGuire's blog :)  Love how this gives the card some dimension without the added bulk. 
Materials Used:  Hero Arts Snow layering paper, Hero Arts CL428 Earth Flowers, Paper Smooches Sentiment Sampler (looooove the font), Memory Box Perched Reed Bird Die, A Muse gingham pp, Ranger Spiced Marmalade and Worn Lipstick distress inks, Stampin' Up Melon Mambo textured cs, Michael's black pearl, Martha Stewart Score Board

Hope your week is going well!  Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Cut Above (Day 3) - Shaped Cards

Day 3 of the on-line class A Cut Above was all about shaped cards.  Decided to use Cricut cart Christmas/Noel to die cut this window frame shape:

The frame was embossed with Hero Arts (HA) S5208 Designer Woodgrain in white then distressed with Ranger antique linen distress ink.  Poppies from HA CL449 Delicate Blossoms were embossed on watercolor paper then watercolored (using Zing water brush) with Ranger spiced marmalade and barn door distress inks and background was lightly brushed with tumbled glass distress ink.  Sentiment from HA CL266 Mix & Match Elements was embossed on a piece of vellum and adhered behind the window frame.  Butterfly from HA CL383 Antique Engravings was also embossed on a piece of AMuse gingham pp.  After assembling the card base(this Cricut cart has a blackout feature that I used to die cut the card base pieces) the window frame was adhered to the front with foam tape.

I'm going to link this up to several challenges including:
 one sponsored by Hero Arts 
this one sponsored by A Blog Named Hero

and finally this one sponsored by Lily Pad Cards

Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Cut Above (Day 2) and Tuesday Trigger: Watercolor Butterflies

Day 2 of A Cut Above was all about using die cut windows in card design.  Decided to combine my "homework" assignment with this week's Tuesday Trigger: Watercolor Butterflies:

Isn't this dress fabulous???!!!  I was really inspired by the colors and the watercolor effect of the butterflies.  And crazy as it may sound I was also inspired by the armhole cutouts :)  I tried to echo their shape in the offset die cut circular window:

Materials Used:  Hero Arts (HA) CG172 Garden Bouquet, HA CL383 Antique Engravings (butterflies), HA CL498 Celebrate Everyday (sentiment), Lifestyle Crafts embossing folder, Nestabilities, Stampin' Up cs, Ranger distress inks (worn lipstick, spiced marmalade, dusty concord, barn door, antique linen (to soften edges), Michael's pearls, W R Memory Keepers corner rounder

Still waiting patiently (kind of....) for my distress markers *sigh*  Thanks for all your sweet comments!  I've had so many starts and stops with my blog - all the encouragement (as well as these fun challenges I'm finding!) inspire me to keep it going :)

And since this card features a window I'm also entering it in this challenge:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Cut Above (Day 1) and CFC48

I'm a few days behind on my "homework" for the on-line class A Cut Above.  The first day touched on ways to make your own card embellishments using die cuts:

I know - pretty simple!  At first I thought about adding a bunch of  really small die cut hearts to all of the trees but decided it looked too busy.  Then I got the idea to use the embossed heart border as "grass" and somehow one heart on the largest tree looked just right:)
Materials Used:  Hero Arts My Happy (sentiment), Magenta Abstract Orchard, Stampin' Up cs, Sizzix/SU Fashionable Hearts Embosslit, Sizzix/SU Adorning Accents Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Clearsnamp Seaglass pigment ink, Versafine Smokey Grey pigment ink, W R Memory Keepers Corner Rounder

I'm entering this in the CAS-ual Fridays Opposites Attract challenge:

Thanks for all your lovely comments!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Lil' Piecing

Julie Ebersole's video on the Hero Arts blog today inspired me to do some paper piecing:

I was immediately drawn to this Hero Arts(HA) set CL583 Right At Home when I saw it among the 2012 catalog releases as it contains so many great elements for creating scenes :)  The only thing it's lacking is a sun so I used one from an older HA set called CL439 Kiss From the Sun.  Been trying to find different ways to use HA CG422 Zig Zag - why not grass? 
Other Materials Used:  HA snow and grass layering paper, Stampin' Up cs, My Mind's Eye pp, Nestie, W R Memory Keepers corner rounder 

I have a tendency to emboss when I paper piece as I find it alot easier to cut out and handle all the little pieces.  In the video I noticed Julie used a tweezer thingy - I think I "need" a pair :)

I'm going to enter this in the ABC DT Challenge Anything Goes as well as this month's Hero Arts Challenge:

Thanks for all your encouraging comments :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Two For One

Combined two challenges with this card:  this month's sketch challenge on the Hero Arts blog and the colors (Avocado, Blue Mist and Grey) from the current Play Date Cafe Challenge:

Flower and leaves are from Hero Arts (HA) CL495 Blossom Art and sentiment is from HA CL498 Celebrate Everyday.  I pleated the Martha Stewart seam binding ribbon using a trick I saw in a mag - adhere a piece of double-sided sticky tape to the card front and then starting from the left hand side (leaving a little "tail" at the end) pleat and stick the ribbon as you go.  Easy peasy!
Other Materials Used:  Lifestyle Crafts embossing folder, Stampin' Up cs, Bo Bunny pp, My Mind's Eye pp, Inkadinkado silver embossing powder, Papertrey ink scalloped border die, Hero Arts clear gems, Michael's pearls

I'm ridiculously proud of the fact I have a Mother's Day card done a whole month before I need it :)  Thanks for all your lovely comments!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Tools

The newest challenge on the Simon Says Stamp Challenge blog is to use your favorite tool.  Since I LOVE to emboss my heat tool is a constant on my work table.  And I couldn't live without my Cuttlebug :)

On a piece of white cs I stamped this cool Abstract Orchard from Magenta in black and then clear embossed.  Using the negative spaces from some die cut circles as masks I rolled ink from a Tsukineko Blue Breeze Kaleidacolor rainbow ink pad with a brayer.  After mounting with a piece of black cardstock and adhering Hero Arts sea dots it was attached to the card front with foam tape.  Sentiment is from Hero Arts CL544 Big Ticket.  Baker's twine is from Doodlebug Designs.
Other Materials Used:  Nesties, Hero Arts snow layering paper, Michael's black cs, We R Memory Keepers corner rounder

I really like how this turned out and want to try this same technique with another Kaleidacolor rainbow ink pad I have called Pumpkin Patch - I think it will make a really pretty Fall card :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A "New" Challenge For Me......

I recently decided it's time for me to explore other challenges out there besides those sponsored by Hero Arts.  And what better way to take a baby step than to participate in one sponsored by a new challenge blog that celebrates all things Hero:) 

It was difficult for me to choose just one fave Hero Arts stamp (especially since my stamping studio is filled to the brim with HA stuff!) but I decided to create a card highlighting S5316 Silhouette Grass:
Did a little shadow stamping by first stamping the silhouette in white pigment ink and then stamping the image again (slightly offset) in HA midtone pool shadow ink.  The sentiment is from a 2012 clear set CL588 Sending You Love and I die cut it using one of the matching HA frame cuts.  The dragonflies are from one of my fave clear sets CL383 Antique Engravings - I reach for both the dragonflies and the butterflies from this set time and time again.
Other Materials Used:  Stampin' Up cs and pp, HA soft brown shadow ink and brown gems, Making Memories paper piercer and eyelets, Ranger distressing tool and distress inks, Creative Impressions twine

Thanks for all your lovely comments and enjoy your day!  I'm off to figure out other ways to avoid doing housework.....

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter!

I just finished up the Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 on-line class earlier this week and love the watercoloring techniques I learned :)  The card I'm sharing today uses both a brushless technique and a watercoloring with re-inkers technique:

For the background I inked up various Hero Arts stamps with Ranger distress inks and spritzed them with water before stamping on watercolor paper.  I have found the kind of watercolor paper you use really does make a difference - I've been getting good results with Strathmore 140 lb cold press paper from the 400 series.  After I was pleased with the colors and images in the background I added a sky by picking up some tumbled glass distress ink with a Zig BrusH2O (detailer tip) and adding it to the bg.  You have to be so careful not to touch the stamped images as the water will "wake up" those distress inks and cause a muddy mess :(   On another piece of watercolor paper I embossed Hero Arts F5377 Thoughtful Bunny in black.  After creating a palette with distress reinkers and using my Zig brush I colored him in.  The edges of all pieces were inked with antique linen and walnut stain distress inks before assembly.

I've never been a big fan of coloring.  Copics and prismas -eh.  But give me some distress inks and water and I'm in love :)  And you betcha I've got some of those new distress markers on order - LOL!

Materials Used:  Hero Arts: H5312 Silhouette Burst, S5316 Silhouette Grass, CL428 Earth Flowers, CL498 Celebrate Everyday (sentiment); Ranger distress inks:  spun sugar, worn lipstick, tumbled glass, peeled paint, tea dye, walnut stain, antique linen; Hero Arts eggshell layering paper (base card); A Muse gingham pp; May Arts ribbon; American Crafts button; Nestie

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!  My dh husband is 100% Polish so our Easter morning will include a simple brunch of polish sausages, eggs and placzak (a type of coffee cake).  My mother-in-law has to travel to a market in Buffalo, NY called the Broadway Market to get the food and all of us look forward to this yearly treat :)