Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thankful Bubbles -- Pilin' On the Embossing with Add a Little Dazzle

This week at the Pile It On Challenge our theme is Embossing (wet or dry) and we're sponsored by  Add a Little Dazzle. They were very generous, and provided our DT with samples of their colorful metal sheets. It embosses and cuts beautifully on my BigShot.

I embossed this dazzling blue metal sheet from Add a Little Dazzle with a Cuttlebug folder, and it was so stunning by itself that I kept the rest of the design fairly simple. The metal embellishments were cut/embossed from a soda can. The sentiment is from TLC Creations and I created the banner shape & border in InDesign. The metal sheet is adhered with ZipDry glue (it glued well, with little need of flattening) onto a silver Recollections cardstock. The white papers are a heavy, coated Hammerill cardstock.

On Friday my husband had a kidney transplant (he and the living donor are doing great!), and my Mom helped me make thank-you cards for the many people who have supported us during this time. I created this design and we ended up making many similar cards (well, Mom did...I've been cleaning and getting life organized for his 6-week recovery). I will try to get a photo of Mom's cards -- they are gorgeous!

Creative Card Crew #66: Sea/Beach
Inky Impressions #169: No DP
Inkspirational #61: Splash
Ladybug Crafts Ink TLT Challenge: CAS
Scrap it with a song: Foo Fighters - "Times like these" (Boy, this song has made me emotional in times like these!)
Simon Says Stamp: Embossing
Sisterhood of Crafters: Diecuts/Punches
The Crazy Challenge: Die cuts and punches

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us this week at Pile It On,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bag + Tag challenge at Crafting with Dragonflies

This fortnight at Crafting with Dragonflies we're challenging you to make a bag with a matching gift tag, either attached to it or separate. There are lots of great bag tutorials out there, and I chose Mini Tote Bag tutorial at Popper&Mimi the to make a set of bags for a recent crafting get-together.

I used the beautiful Pansies digi stamp by our sponsor, Sami Stamps
The tutorial calls for the bag base to be 3.5 inches high, but I made them 4 inches. The pink paper is from Stampin Up! and the other two papers are from Close to my Heart. They are sturdy, if light-weight, papers and were perfect for this project. I used adhesive tapes & ribbons to decorate them.

As I mentioned, I made these for a craft-a-thon at my house last week...several years ago, I met some local crafters online, and we ended up being practically neighbors! We get together every few months and since my Mom is visiting we got together at my house, and I thought these would work nicely to organize our supplies at the table. The green bag was for my Mom, and the pink & blue bags were for my friends and contained small presents. I actually made a fourth one for myself, but it was already filled with crafting supplies by the time I took this photo! Such a handy thing to have, and amazingly sturdy.

I colored the digi stamps with Copics, and used them to decorate the ready-made tags (hand-made, if not by me). I attached them with colored twine.

Fairy Tale: Use a Digital Stamp Image
Miriam's Crafting Blog Monthly Challenge: Containers

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join the Bag + Tag Challenge at Crafting with Dragonflies,

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My 5th Blogoversary Candy Winner

Thank you for your lovely comments celebrating my 5th Blogoversary. The online crafting community has touched my life in so many ways, and I appreciate every single one of my readers.

There were twelve entries for my Blog Candy, all craft bloggers that I've had the pleasure of working with. Ya'll rock! I used good ol' to pick the winner...
That's you, Dawn Lancaster!

Congrats Dawn! Send me an email (CGsaysSomethingLoudly [at] gmail [dot] com) with your mailing address. 

Thank you all again for supporting my crafting and being an inspiration,

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pilin' on the Monochrome

This week at the Pile It On Challenge our theme is Monochromatic and we're sponsored by Crafty City.

I just adored Yumi Muraeda's Pop-up Tag Album for Graphic45, and just had to try one myself. Her video tutorial is great, but I really ended doing my own thing. The only tag dies I have are from a Stamp & Die-cut set from Doodlebug/Sizzix, which are very small but I do love mini books! I consider this a pictorial story of the overgrown wonder that has been my garden this year. The pop-up pieces were cut with a QuicKutz border die. The leaves & flowers were cut with Sweet Stamps dies.

Crafting By Designs: Diecuts
Everybody Art Challenge #286: Monochrome
PDE Linky Party #14: Tags
The Sailing Pineapple Blog #10: Nature Calls
TokBobok July Challenge: Monochrome (2nd entry)

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us this week at Pile It On,

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

CAS cards at Crafting with Dragonflies

This fortnight at Crafting with Dragonflies we're challenging you to make a Card in the Clean & Simple style (CAS). This challenge is sponsored by Pickled Potpourri Designs, and one lucky participant will receive a $7 gift certificate to their digi stamp store. 

This is about as CAS as I get! I used the Happiness set by Pickled Potpourri Designs.
I converted the Butterfly PNG into a cut file using SCAL, and I cut it and a shadow version with my Silhouette Cameo.

The sentiment & trail (from the same Pickled Potpourri set) were printed onto a shiny white paper (Recollections) and heat-embossed in neon orange (ZING). The top butterfly is actually cut from a black paper and heat-embossed in the same orange powder, to mimic the effect of the powder on the black text.

The orange and green papers are Recollections cardstocks, and the punches are from a Martha Stewart "Punch Around the Page" set.

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us at Crafting with Dragonflies,

My 5th Blogoversary!

I started this blog on July 9, 2009, wrote 15 posts about cooking that month and then didn't blog until the next June, when I started crafting seriously. By December, 2010, I had made it to my 100th post. I now have published over 850 posts, almost all featuring something I made inspired by the online crafting community. Many thanks to all the wonderful and generous people I have met over the years.
This also means it's time for my yearly Blog Candy! This year I'm offering a small grab-bag of delicious craft items. Don't worry, I won't lob off unwanted stash; I've set aside some of my favorite crafting items, and will tailor the package to the winner.

I hope you'll follow my blog (there are some links on my sidebar) and leave a comment so I can visit you. To my long-time followers, thank you so much!

Update: The winner is posted here.

Thank you for visiting,

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Green Summer - Flowers + Dilly Beans

Our theme this week at Pile It On! is Flowers, sponsored by Dilly Beans Stamps. This isn't my week to play along at Pile It On as a DT member, but I couldn't resist participating.

I made a relatively simple shaped card using Dilly Beans Digi #541, Doodle Flower 1:
click to enlarge
I printed the image on two different green papers, in two different greens (I colorized the image in Photoshop), and printed it again on a lighter green, which I folded in half and used as the base.

I couldn't resist adding my own doodles to this Doodle Flower. I used Sharpies for the thicker lines, and TEKwriter gel and glitter pens for the coloring and smaller details. For the middle, I added omse Liquid Pearls, green Stickles, and one dot from a VIVA pearl pen.

Craft Room Challenge: Inspired By A Tattoo art + pen work of your own
Digistamps 4 Joy #95: Shaped Card
Dilly Beans Challenge: Summer Lovin' (inspired by my still-green summer yard)
Fitztown Challenge #41: Shaped Card
Kraftin' Kimmie Challenge #237: Doodling
Nutcrafters #71: Anything but Square
Sisterhood of Crafters: Monochromatic
TokBobok July Challenge: Monochrome

Update: Many thanks to the Craft Room Challenge team for offering this badge to all the entrants to their Tattoo + Doodle Challenge

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us this week at Pile It On,

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Simply Firefly

One of my favorite things about summer is the beautiful fireworks each evening, in the form of lightning bugs. They are much quieter than the human version of fireworks! I decided to get a little artsy and make this firefly shaker card:

The shaker is made from the plastic safety cover off of a Fiskars paper-trimmer glad I kept one! It has a little bump in the middle, but I felt like that gave the "body" some dimension. I filled it with a chunky glow-in-the-dark glitter (Martha Stewart brand). A lightning bug got into the house the other day and I wanted to recreate the surprise of its glow in a dark room. I couldn't get a good photo of it in the dark, but it does glow!

The wings and antenna were cut on my BigShot with a Memory Box die. The top wings, antenna, and body background are a shiny black paper (Recollections), and the bottom wings are vellum.The bases were cut with a Spellbinders die (included the base card; I cut it from a folded piece of paper.) The top is a shiny green (Recollections again), and it's glued  onto a black piece that I embossed with the die, cut out, and decorated with Holographic embossing powder (Sweet Stamps). I added some red Stickles as a border, reminiscent of a firefly's coloring.

The sentiment stamp is from the Let It Shine set by Verve Stamps. I heat-embossed it with a glittery white, and added a sprinkle of the white and holographic glitters to the card. That was supposed to look "whimsical" but I'm afraid it just looks messy!

I'm always inspired by our garden, and I'm glad I finally got around to making an homage to these real-life fairies of summer.

Cut it Up #48: Twilight
Just Add Ink #221: Just Add Shakers
Simon Says Stamp: Shake It
Tando Creative Challenges: Come Fly with Me

Thank you for visiting,

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Desert-themed ATCs - Final week of Crafting with Dragonflies Challenge

You have one more week to make a Set of 3 Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) for our current challenge at Crafting with Dragonflies (the deadline is July 8) They are fun to collect an swap, and make great card toppers. I had so much fun making my Message in a Bottle set that I decided to make a set of desert-themed ATCs:

The backgrounds are digi papers from the Camel Digital Stamp Pack by Coosty Creations. The birds are a stamp from the Cloudy Skies set by ArtsyfArtsy Stamps, which I recently won from Sweet Stamps (thank you!).

All of my desert-themed stamps seem to be quite large, so I pulled out my Shrinky-dink plastic and made embellishments for each of the ACTs. I coated them with Glossy Accents, which made them difficult to photograph but enhance the image in person.

The camel Shrinky-dink was made with an Animal Spirit Stamp by Sue Coccia for Earth Art International. I stamped this intricate design with Timber Brown Staz-On ink.

Don't you just love this digi paper with these curious camels?! I just added a little Antique Linen distress ink to the edges. I cut the little banner from a Kraft paper, doodled on it with a watermark pen (Versamark) and heat-embossed it with Brown Sugar embossing powder (ZING).

I made the border on a base of the plain desert digi paper, using Glossy Accents and gold microbeads.

It would probably be more accurate if this were a date palm, but I just had to use this Coconut Palm rubber stamp by Under the Rubber Tree to make a Shrinky-dink. I inked it with stamp markers.

The silly sentiment is from Inky Antics. I used the same ink for the sentiment as for the bird shadows (Gingerbread from VersaChalk), but I added some blue-green glitter embossing powder.

The refreshing watering-hole was hand-cut from a holographic plastic and embossed in my BigShot with a Sizzix folder. I put some mesh (one of my favorite recycled items, from a bag of avocados) behind it for added texture.

I added a border with a TEKwriter glitter pen, and used bright green Liquid Pearls to accent the corners. I backed it onto a light blue cardstock.

The cactus stamp is from the Fred Bear Out West set from MFT. I stamped it in green pigment ink, colored it with a stamp marker, and fussy cut around all those darn little needles. And then I put it in the toaster oven & totally forgot about burned just enough to give the green some tint, so it was a happy accident.

I printed this background with a blank top so that I could ink directly onto it. I used a die circle and its negative as masks to create the sun. I backed the scene onto a patterned paper.

These adorable little quail die cuts are from Cheery Lynn's Birds of Earth & Sky set, which I bought from Sweet Stamps. I cut them from a black-on-gray, textured Core'Dinations cardstock, sanded them very carefully to reveal some of the gray, and added details with a brown marker, a glitter pen, and a white Glaze pen. I have friends & family in Arizona, so this theme was very close to my heart. We call the baby quail "walnuts" and they are beyond cute in person. I used a border punch for the teensy flowers and a sunburst punch for the larger ones, and added some Liquid Pearls to the centers. The flowers were partly inspired by my best friend, who called me while this Spring while driving from Flagstaff to Phoenix, just to tell me how beautiful the blooming Sahuaros were!

Scrappy Hands #16: Use a Stamp
Wicked Wednesdays: Inspirational / Uplifting Quotes or Words (I'm entering the Oasis ATC with the "I'll never 'desert' you" sentiment)

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us at Crafting with Dragonflies,

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ooh La La! July at Words 2 Scrap By - Champs-Élysées diorama card

I'm thrilled that my entry was chosen as the winner of the Bloom Where You Are Planted challenge at Words 2 Scrap By. Not only did I win a crafty prize (thank you Bernadette!), I was asked to join their I-Team for their July Challenge, Ooh La La, in honor of Bastille Day (July 14). You can interpret the theme however you like.

This 5x7 card closes flat, secured with a ribbon and a brad I stamped/heat-embossed with part of a Viva Las VegasStamps rubber stamp. I used a fibrous, textured paper for the base, which has a nice faux-leather look and folds very nicely.

Ooh La La has two connotations, the one we English-speakers seem familiar with (Ooh la la), and the French version (Oh-là-là). I thought I'd play with the meanings of both in this project.
—Ooh, la, la, look at all the lovely ladies!
Oh-là-là, I got coffee on my postcards!

The lovely ladies were fussy-cut from Graphic45 papers (mostly their A Ladies' Diary collection). All the postcard images, including the one on the front & the Arc de Triomphe postcard, are from The Graphics Fairy. She has such a wonderful collection of vintage images. I added a sepia tone to the postcard on the front and printed it on a beige paper. The other postcards were printed on regular white cardstock, and I added some distress ink to the two postcard backs.

The coffee-cup stains were made using a Tim Holtz template. This was my first time using the template, and of course I didn't practice first! I sponged on a ton of Antique Linen distress ink, and it really came out beautifully. The white base was cut from a linen-textured paper with the KutUps font on my Silhouette Cameo.

I used three accordion-folded pieces on each side of the pop-out, gluing a long base of a K&Company cardstock between each set. I decorated the inside and outside with diecuts from a QuicKutz set. I inked them with TH Peeled Paint distress ink and VersaMagic Key Lime chalk ink.

When I learned of the Words 2 Scrap By Ooh La La challenge, I immediately knew that I wanted to make a sort of diorama featuring the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. We're American, but my parents worked in Europe so we were able to visit Paris several times when I was growing up. My mother had also visited there where she was a child, in the 1950s, and she remembers her father standing out in the middle of the Champs-Élysées trying to get a perfect shot of the Arc de Triomphe ... of course, taking a photo was a bit of chore back then and it's always been a very busy road, so she and her mom sat at a cafe and watched with a certain amount of horror as my grandfather got his tripod into place! I'm sure Mom has his slides somewhere. Anyway, we always made a point of visiting a cafe on the Champs-Élysées, even in later years when prices got out of control (and that was over 20 years ago now!), and I wanted to capture some of those great memories with this scene-in-a-card. 

Paper Shelter Challenge #164: Travel the World
The Pink Elephant Monday Card Challenge: Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp: Anything goes (2nd Entry)
Stampin' For The Weekend: Anything Goes

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us at Words 2 Scrap By,

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pilin' On the Outdoor Fun

This week at the Pile It On Challenge our theme is Outdoor Fun and we're sponsored by Inky Impressions. They have so many adorable digi stamps, but I was really drawn to their Best Wishes Banner.
click to enlarge
This lovely lady on a pier with her parasol is one of my favorite rubber stamps; I got it as part of a "grab-bag" I won some years back. I actually ended up fussy-cutting each piece separately: the figure & umbrella were stamped on coated Hammermill cardstock and colored with Copics; and the pier was stamped on a beige cardstock, embossed with an SU! embossing folder (which I just won from Words to Scrap By; thank you Bernadette!), and inked with Vintage Photo & Antique Linen distress inks.

If you follow this blog, the wave background might look familiar... I used the same technique just last week for the Crafting with Dragonflies' Artist Trading Card Challenge. What can I say, I still had the supplies out on my table! This time, I used two sizes of the wave border cut file from SVG Attic's Just Beachy set (I have a photo and description of how I did this here).

I added some sandy texture with a Versamark watermark pen and ZING Brown Sugar embossing powder. The house brads & metal charm were gifts from my mom (thanks Mom!) and I added a bit of Pink Paislee twine to the boat for good measure. The corner seaweed embellishment was made by gluing green tulle onto a green cardstock and cutting with a Spellbinders die.

This design really came together for me when I realized how much it reminded me of Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth... I'm sure that was my subconscious speaking, as I have a very personal connection to that particular painting. So the balance achieved with the two houses was inspired directly by the painting, and I ended up using their bright colors as my main colors.

  1. Crafting Musketeers #14: Stamped Image
  2. Cuttlebug Mania: Use a charm + Manual die-cutting machine (I used a SU! embossing folder and a Spellbinders die on my BigShot)
  3. Graph'It Colour Challenge #26: Anything Goes with Alcohol Markers (I used Copics for the image and shading on the banner)
  4. Inky Impressions Challenge #165: Anything Goes
  5. Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: Product or Technique you wish you used more often (making my own background, especially with stencils & ink)
  6. Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge: Anything goes
  7. Sparkles Forum Challenges #57: At the Beach/ Summer Fun
  8. The Crazy Challenge #174: By the Sea
  9. WordArt Wednesdays: Anything Uplifting Goes
Update: This was  selected as one of the Top 3 projects for Inky Impressions Challenge #165. Thank you!

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us this week at Pile It On,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Message in a Bottle ATCs

This fortnight at Crafting with Dragonflies we're challenging you to make a Set of 3 Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). We have two sponsors, Pickled Potpourri Designs and QKR Stampede, and I used this fun Wish in a Bottle Digi Stamp by QKR.

An artist trading card (or ATC for short) is a 2.5x3.5 inch piece of art created with the intention of swapping or trading it with another artist. I'll admit that I've incorporated this challenge into the ATC Swap we're having within one of my other Design Teams (OSAAT). I was inspired by the "Great Outdoors" theme for that swap. My Crafting with Dragonflies teamie Susan used this same digi stamp for her ATCs as well, and I love her take. Be sure to check out all the DT projects!

The Bottle digi stamp was printed directly onto the paper; I also printed them on masking paper so that I could ink the background over top. I then colored the bottles with Copic markers, using the Blender Texture technique for the underwater parts.

The background was made using a wave border cut file from SVG Attic's Just Beachy set as a mask. I don't do this very often, but it was tons of fun! I found it pretty easy to mask and ink using the die cuts and their negatives, plus plenty of painter's tape. Here's a photo of how I did this (sorry, I took it after doing the inking!):

The banner paper and sentiment are from Graphic 45's By the Sea collection. I hand-cut the banners and attached then with these glittery brads so that they move.

The "beach" is made with a coffee sleeve. I used some green mesh from a bag of avocados for a little texture, and the sandy landscape base is from Camel Digital Stamp Pack by Coosty Creations.

ABC Challenge: N is for Nautical
Craft my Life All Crafts Challenge: Anything but a Card
Jellypark Friends Friday Challenge: Seaside/ Beach/ Nautical
Moving Along with the Times: I would like to be beside the seaside

Thank you for visiting, and hope you'll join us at Crafting with Dragonflies,