Monday, July 13, 2015

Sending Prayers and Sympathy

Hello and Happy Monday!

I'm back today, after a brief absence as unfortunately my body is an "equal opportunity employer" and thus it has "hired" a viral and bacterial infection over the past week...which has left me with laryngitis, fatigue and a bad case of 'blog-o-phobia'. Haha, all is true other than the 'blogophobia' though I think it has quite a ring to it! ;-) But I digress...

Here's a card that was created with inspiration from many different challenges/blogs! The colors were culled from this gorgeous combination from last week's (#298) Colour Q Challenge, which will be open for only a few more hours!



My use of twine, and my color scheme was also heavily influenced by this gorgeous photo provided by the Creative Color Challenge :
(From top to bottom and left to right: 
Row 1, box 5/Row 2 box 3/Row 3, boxes 6 and 7/Row 4, boxes 1 and 2)











I was then inspired by this month's Virginia's View Challenge challenge, which focuses on stamping:









I stamped the butterflies from PTI's You're A Masterpiece Make-It-Market kit on watercolor paper, using Tsukineko's Onyx black ink and by doing a ton of masking.  There is no companion die for the butterfly, so I stamped a few on post-it notes, fussy cut them and used them as masks. After each individual butterfly was stamped, I heat embossed them with clear embossing powder. Doing so gave such beautiful texture and really helped "contain" the watercolors. I was especially concerned with that because of the purple and yellow, which are complementary colors. I like to think of complementary colors as friends that get along splendidly...but then if they decide to be roommates and live together...well things get murky. hehe ;-)

I finally pulled out my new "toys", namely my Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens and the Akashiya Sais. I purchased the 36 pen set of Zigs and the 20 pen set of Akashiyas and have actually found that there is virtually no overlap in colors, in fact they complement one another! I am into calligraphy and brush lettering and so I purchased both to see which I liked best. I also wanted needed to get my hands on them, as I wanted to know what all the fuss was about! hehe. Well, I'm here to tell you that they are as beautiful, amazing, convenient (etc,. ad infinitum) as you've probably already heard! ;) The butterflies and the coloring was heavily inspired by this beauty by Julia Alterman from Just One More Card. I used the following colors, for your  reference:

  • Purple Butterflies: Zig No. 80 (violet) and No. 81 (light violet). I added in color 81 so I could get the pale plum color in the Color Q challenge photo and because it added such a beautiful warmth to the cooler toned violet.
  • Yellow Butterflies: Zig No. 50 and Akashiya Sai yellow and brownish-ochre color. Unfortunately, at the moment, I cannot locate my box to see if there is a specific color name and/or number, but I'll do some research and update this list. I actually went tip-to-tip with the brownish-ochre (yep, that's my technical term for it haha) and the Zig No. 50, as I wanted a darker/deeper yellow and didn't have one that was exactly what I was looking for. And then I colored the darkest part of the butterfly, being sure to flick out and going back for darker color as needed. Then, I followed with a fairly "juicy" paint brush and my lightest yellow, blending the darkest color outward until satisfied. 
  • Aqua Butterflies: The dark and light aqua colors found in the Akashiya Sai set. 

One of the many things I love about these pens, is that you truly can do wet-on-wet techniques and they are forgiving, as you can go back (even hours later) re-wet and therefore reactivate the color, until you get it just right. Which is wonderful for a perfectionist like me. ;-)



For some interest, I used my white gel pen to add some dots/details and I also liberally lathered the butterflies with my Wink of Stella clear glitter pen...if only you could see the shine and sparkle in real life!




My card layout was inspired by Joni Andaya's gorgeous sketch over at the WPlus9 Design Blog
Once I was done coloring, I die cut my card panel using my favorite Lawn Fawn Large Rectangle stitching die.Then, I pulled out my WPlus 9 black cardstock and PTI's Wet Paint III "sending" die and made numerous cuts, which I then stacked upon one another for dimension. 



I then cut the two double ended banners from yellow and purple carstock using the companion die from PTI's Happy Notes stamp set. It actually has a pointed end, but I simply snipped that and then attached the two together, but slightly offset. At this point I had to get clever, as I struggled to find a sympathy set that was just right for the given situation. Unfortunately, over the course of the past couple of months, we've had multiple deaths within our family and  circle of close friends... so I've had to make quite a few sympathy cards. For me, these are the most difficult to make and thus the sentiment, the message I'm trying to convey has to be just right (in my personal opinion, of course). So, I ended dong quite a bit of masking-- I took the "prayers" from PTI's Meadow Greens set and the "sympathy" from Lawn Fawn's Scripty Borders set, stamping and then embossing like the butterflies. Then, I felt there needed to be a space between the two and a "nesting" place for the "g" in "sending" so I used a small circle die, which is from PTI's Bold Bouquet anniversary set (it's supposed to be a floral center!) and adhered it to the banners. I then adhered all of the pieces onto my card panel and wrapped the twine at a slant and then added an enamel dot for the "i". Once all of this was done, I cut a card base sized 5.75 inches by 4.50 inches, slightly larger than an A2 standard sized card, so that I could have a bit of the aqua color peeking out. 

and....I'm done! Thanks for stopping by and my apologies for the lengthy post!
As always, many hugs and...craft on!
-O

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lawnscaping Blog Hop: Lawnscaping + Caffeine = Happiness

Hello and happy Friday Friday!



**Edited to add: For those who stopped by my blog earlier today and questioned their sanity and eyesight, my deepest apologies-- I was up until 3 AM MST attempting to 'discipline' my computer into submission and I thought it finally did, so I then happily went to bed (dreaming of coffee, puppies and disciplined computers). Only to then return to my computer and find multiple comments as to the disappearance of my photos. Again, a million and one (x infinity, as my 4 year old would say), I believe I have indeed finally beaten my computer into submission. If you scroll down, there should be pictures there now! And in order to assuage my guilt, I decided I'll post far too  many pictures...call me an extremist? ;) And now, back to our regularly scheduled program (hehe):



Yes, THE day has finally arrived...the day where we paper- addicts crafters (and non-crafters welcome) share our love of 3 different heavenly "things", which on their own are absolutely awesome but once mixed...well magical! "What? What is it?!", you ask? Well,*drum roll please*: 
1) Paper-crafting,
2) Adorable and fantastic Lawn Fawn products, and
3) Coffee, in great amounts-- liberally applied to paper AND a rather large (literal) mug of coffee in hand...because as we know, "Given enough coffee (and cute and/or awesome crafty products), we could rule the world,". Right? :) 





And speaking of ruling and "cute and/or awesome crafty products-- the following are the generous sponsors that have graciously donated wonderful prizes and helped make this Lawnscaping + Caffeine = Happiness Bloghop happen!




Be sure to check out our sponsors' websites for fantastic shopping that will leave you drooling and incapable of resisting! ;-) 

Lawn Fawn
Ellen Hutson 
The Ink Road
Crafters Companion
Spectrum Noir
The Alley Way Stamps
Newtons Nook
Faber Castell
Right at Home

And, how can you be in the running for the giveaways? Well, all you have to do is leave comments on each of the blogs participating in the bloghop (listed below). You have until 11:59 PM EST on June 28th to leave your comments. ** But, please (please, with a cherry on top!) do not copy and paste your comments...original comments only! All information regarding sponsors, prizes, and how to win can be found on the Lawnscaping Challenge Blog. The winners will be announced sometime next week (also on the Lawnscaping Challenge Blog)


And now, here is the card that I made, while gulping down copious amounts of coffee... ;)





I started with 120 lb. white cardstock and ran it through my Big Shot with one of my very favorite (and oft used) dies, Lawn Fawn's Large Stitched Rectangle Stackables. Then, I pulled out my Tuxedo Black ink from Memento, as I knew I wanted to use my alcohol markers (Copics, Spectrum Noirs, Letraset Promarkers and discontinued Letraset Pantones). I stamped various images from the Lawn Fawn Love You a Latte stamp set on the entire panel, making sure to twist in different directions and also stamp off the edge in order to add depth and interest.



 I then pulled out my eclectic collection of alcohol markers (refer to supply list below) and colored them in with various cheerful and bright colors. Lawn Fawn, Coffee and these colors make me happy, so I thought it appropriate! Once done, I die cut the panel using my PTI Tag Sale #4.  Oh and I also die cut a saucer, mug and spoon and colored those in with the intent of using dimensional adhesive to super-impose them on the already stamped ones, to add interest and direct the eye to the focal point. . I  then stamped the super cute, girly happy face (using Lawn Fawn's Black Licorice dye ink) on the focal mug and then VERY liberally applied my beloved Zig Wink of Stella Clear on top.  This was my best attempt to capture the Wink of Stella sparkles, but alas this picture still does not quite capture it... if only you could see it in real life!

 I threaded through the top of the tag some hot pink, sheer organza ribbon and then to both secure and add detail tied that together with some Lawn Fawn Single Natural cord. Then, I added for more color and detail a button, which was included in PTI's recently released Make It Market Kit- Nostalgic Notions.


 So, I initially had simply planned to 'return' the tag to its original place but with dimensional adhesive for interest and depth. But when I went to do so, the card panel felt too busy and bright to me and I therefore feared the focal point would get "lost" in the sea of the other colored images. So, I remembered the technique that Lizzie Jones introduced a couple months back, where she used a vellum overlay to tone down a busy, vibrant background. So I cut two vellum panels, again using my Stitched Rectangles-- one was a beautiful sheer vellum that has tiny specks of glitter randomly scattered throughout it and another, which is from the PTI Sheer Basics Collection, Bitty Polka Dot. I cut them both in half and attached the sheer vellum to the top and the Polka dot to the bottom. Then, most likely because I have OCD tendencies, I had to add hot pink satin ribbon where the two vellum pieces meet, as it drives me nuts to not have a nice, finished edge! ;) I then cut from black cardstock a double ended banner, stamped and then heat embossed the sentiment and added some enamel dots to finish it off. I mounted all this on an  A2-sized top folding, white cardstock base and....I'm done!!! 



Thanks so much for spending a portion of your day with me!! And until next time...craft on!
-O

You may have arrived here from the super talented Lydia's blog. If by chance you have lost track of the bloghop order,  please don't fret because here is the complete list for your convenience! 

So, feel free to join me and grab a "cup o' joe", kick up your feet and enjoy all the inspiration coming your way! Hop along to :



Should you encounter any errors along the hop, please email Laurel directly at laurelbeard at me dot com. Please do not leave them in the comments. Thanks!


Submitting this card also into the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, where the theme is "Anything Goes".

Sunday, June 28, 2015

MAKE IT MONDAY #215: BRINGING THE INSIDE OUT

And hello, happy Sunday to all!

Edited to add on June 30th, 2015: It seems my computer and I are back at it-- it started up another rebellion and it (it, being my evil nemesis aka computer) defied the laws of logic and made this post disappear! Grrrrr. And the last saved draft was without photographs, so I'm trying to rectify the matter and reposting pictures/rewritting the steps taken to create this card. I shall persevere, my nemesis! <--- Yeah, I'm looney...but I think hope in a "Looney-Tunes" cute sorta way and not in an axe-wielding murderess sorta way, ;) And back to the post:

I'm back with a card for this week's (*gasp*, you guessed it right! hehe) Make-It-Monday challenge. The challenge this time around, shared by Danielle Flanders over on Nichole Heady's blog is to have an element/focal point that is part of the interior of the card AND the front. Genius, right? I've always know that Danielle Flanders is incredibly talented, in fact I believe she is  supercalifragilisticexpialidocious talented! <--- Yes, that's not a Merriam-Webster approved word. But if Mary Poppins can get away with it, well so can I, right?! But I digress... Here's my take on the technique:

I strongly believe that the technique truly shines when the card is upright. It allows for immediately spotting the concept of "Bringing the Inside Out" and "Wow Factor". 



I included this photo as I wanted to show that this technique is marvelous, especially if you shall be mailing the card, as I did. It provides such depth and dimension without adding bulk!

 Above and to the left,  are detailed shots of the coloring. The stamp set used for the banners/tassels is from Mama Elephant and is new to me. I absolutely love it, but unfortunately I simply couldn't budget for the companion dies, so these were fussy cut (and rather imperfectly, I might add)!






This shot (below) shows the fun effect created with the over-hanging front sentiment.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ombre AND Monochromatic Father's Day Shaker Card

Hello, there!

I'm back today with a Father's Day Card, that as the title of this post already announced (haha, yay for my redundancy!) is both monochromatic and uses an ombre effect!

The theme and inspiration came from this month's Virginia's View ChallengeWhat a lovely inspiration photo, is it not?! I pulled the color scheme from the bottom right photo, as I thought it fitting for a masculine card. I also knew I wanted to use my new PTI Enclosed Star die set, which I believe makes for a very aesthetically pleasing shape for shaker AND masculine cards! I started with a white cardstock, which I cut using my favorite Lawn Fawn Large Stitched Rectangle. Then I pulled out my Tim Holtz mini ink blending tool as well as distress inks in Chipped Sapphire, Stormy Sky and Broken China. I started with my darkest color first and then actually followed with my lightest. I thought it would allow me to make a more continuous and seamless blend. Then, I went back in and between the two colors, used my medium shade...and used lots of "elbow grease" ;)!

I then cut out at the top and at a slant the star shape. I created my shaker, using an array of sequins, confetti, seed beads, etc,...pretty much anything that was a shade of blue! Once that was done, I proceeded to cut from white cardstock the same shape but this time with the nesting "Super" star. I wanted the white to create contrast and to 'break up' the shades of blue. I snipped the end off of a double ended banner from PTI Tag Sale #10 and stamped "Dad" from Papertrey Ink's Polka Dot Parade #3 in Memento's Nautical Blue dye ink. 


I finished it off with navy blue baker's twine and...I'm done! 

Thanks for stopping by and spending a part of your day with me! Be sure to check out Virginia's View Challenge blog for lots more inspiration!

I'm also playing at:
1. 

Until next time, craft on!
-O


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lovely Blossoming Buds

Aaaaaaand...I'm back, with another card for another challenge! This week on the  Paper Smooches Sparks Challenge Blog, the theme is *drum roll please*Woo hoo!!! I've wanted to play along for quite some time now but I didn't own any Paper Smooches Stamps....until now! I've been eyeing their lovely set, Blossoming Buds for some time now and finally "took the plunge". Here's a (nearly) one layer, fairly clean and simple card I made with my NBUS:















































 I  started off with some 110# cardstock as my base. Then I cut in two different sizes the stitched mats, using my much loved and much used Lawn Fawn Large Stitched Rectangles. Then using my Tuxedo black ink, I inked up one of the large floral stamps in the set and stamps once on each corner of the smaller stitched rectangle. I then colored them with an assortment of Copics, Promarkers, Spectrum Noirs and the no longer available Pantone Letraset Markers (which I believe was the "forefather" to the Promarkers). I then went in with my white gel pen to add some detail. I then proceeded to line the back with some dimensional adhesive and mounted it on the larger stitched rectangle mat. All was mounted onto my card base and then finished off with some scattered Pretty Pink Posh Sparkling Clear sequins! And I'm done and off to bed now but before I do, here's a closeup of some of my coloring:

Thanks for spending a portion of your day with me, I'll catch you next time. And until then...Craft on!
-O

Sparkle and Shine Challenge: Ombre Deliciousness

Hello and happy Saturday to all,


Trying to squeeze this card in as there are only 9 minutes left until the linkup closes! No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you, no you are most certainly not going crazy--I did in fact write 9 minutes. What can I say? I'm THE Queen of Procrastination. But I digress...Here is the lovely inspiration photo for this week's Sparkle and Shine Challenge:
 Gorgeous, isn't it? And with wedding season upon us, also incredibly relevant! Here's my interpretation:

My apologies for the quality (or rather lack thereof) of the photo...alas, I took this picture after sundown and so I had to rely on inside lighting. I'll be back tomorrow with an updated photograph and supply list. I may also include some step-by-step instructions as to how I created this card, and in particular the ombre effect. Just a final note-- the white spots you see are actually luscious glitter particles from my Wink of Stella and the die cut flowers at the top left corner are cut from PTI's white polka dot vellum and teal vellum I picked up at paperandmore.com!

Edited to add updated picture, as promised! :)

and a close up of the "floral arrangement" at the top-left corner:

Also playing at these challenges:

2.
Thanks and have a lovely rest of your weekend!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Colour Q: Sparkle Birthday Girl Shaker

Hello and happy Monday,

I'm back today and sneaking in (at the very last minute) my submission to the Colour Q Challenge with this beautiful color combination:
So I opted to make a shaker card. Unfortunately, I did not have sequins or shaker fillers that matched the Coastal Cabana color perfectly, so I had to make do. Here is my interpretation:
I began with Lawn Fawn's Large Stitched  Rectangles for the base. Then, I cut out a window like square using the coordinating die from the newly released PTI set Quilted:Summer. I then used the large squares as guides for creating 4 separate  shaker elements, one for each color : turquoise, yellow, hot pink and orange. I thought it looked a bit like a window so I decided to add a sky-like detail at the top. I cut out a piece of white cardstock with a rounded edge border die from Pretty Pink Posh. I then sponges it going from heavy color application to lighter with my blending tool  to create a sort of ombre effect using Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink. Then, to bring the colors "out from the shaker" to the foreground, so to speak, I took a white piece of cardstock and sponged Mermaid Lagoon, Picked Raspberry, and Lemonade, making sure to overlap in order to get orange and a nice, continuous blend. Then I positioned my die and cut out the Sparkle from that sponged piece. To add depth and interest, I also cut out "Sparkle" from white cardstock and positioned it under the colored piece but a bit offset. Then, I die cut the double ended banner from PTI's Tag Sale #10 , snipped off one end and stamped in black and then pink "birthday girl" respectively and then sprinkled on some clear, holographic embossing powder for extra shine. Continuing with the color scheme and "Sparkle" sentiment, I adhered various matching sequins. Then to top it all off, I went back and used my Zig Wink of Stella clear brush pen and added shine to the sentiment, the blue sky detail and anywhere else I could sneak it in!  A bit of hot pink baker's twine at the top and...I'm done! This card went out to my 6 year old niece who loves anything that sparkles, is pink and über girly...hopefully this fit the bill and she shall like it! Here is a close-up: 

 If only you could see the shine from the Wink of Stella in real life, it makes me giddy! Well that's all for now, thanks for stopping by and have a lovely week! 

Edited to add (June 10th, 2015)
I just found out I was chosen as one of the Colour Q Courtiers for this week #292!