Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stampin' Dymonz Grand Give-A-Way: Steampunk Tag

It's day 3 of the Tim Times Ten Grand Give-A-Way Challenge at the Stampin' Dymonz blog, and today's tag recipe is especially fun-filled:
  • Steampunk theme
  • sponging
  • heat embossing
  • a key
  • 3 arrows
  • a pointing hand
  • a metal embellishment
  • one stamped image must be hand cut
Wow, right‽ A few months ago this would have made me nervous, but now I'm all over it! That being said, I had several false starts. It was definitely a creative challenge for me, since I really didn't have any of the required materials, but it was fun to improvise. I always try to think of the Zen adage You already have everything you need.

I found a classic vintage pointing hand image online, printed it on photo paper, and clear heat-embossed it. I sponged the image with Red Brick, Marigold & Mustard Seed distress inks.

The arrows are actually cut files from SCAL; I cut them directly onto masking paper, which worked great! After sponging the kraft paper with distress inks, I removed the masks and used my watermark pen to heat-emboss the keys in clear yellow.

The circle pattern embossed piece is actually a scrap from my bottlecap card, but I added some copper with a gel pen.

Actually, I did end up having this lovely key stamp from the Metropolitan Museum of Art set, which I silver heat-embossed on kraft and hand-cut out.

I hand-punched the border, but I did take the time to make a template. It's difficult to see in this photo (click on photo to enlarge), but the glittery ribbon is tinted with Mustard Seed distress ink.

The metal key attach at the top is one of the many suitcase lock keys I have around the house. Where the locks could be I don't know!

I'm loving everyone's projects. See you tomorrow!

Friday, April 29, 2011

A sketch so nice...yadda yadda twice

My lucky number is 3 so I love challenges that incorporate it, such as the Sketch over at All Things Unity. I designed one card using their stamps, but then found that the sketch popped into my head for the Terrifically Thrilling Thursday Challenge at Shelly's Images. So thank you ATU for the inspiration!

I went "simple" for both of these cards, and really enjoy how they came out; almost like what I imagined in my head!

Sketch: ATU #29
Theme: Use a Punch, Card Cupids New Challenge Sunday
Color: colourQ Challenge #82: Always Artichoke, Kiwi Kiss, Pear Pizzazz, Baja Breeze & White

Supplies: {ippity} rubber cling stamps, Heidi Grace Designs glitter paper, Recollections cardstock, Memento ink, Marvy brush markers & punch, ZipDry glue, Fiskars papercutter & punch, MS detailing scissors

Theme: Buttons, Brads & Bows, TTT Challenge Thursday at Shelly's Images
Color: Color Throwdown #139: Dusty Durango, Tangerine Tango, Chocolate Chip, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry

Supplies: digi stamp by Shelly's Images, silicon sentiment stamp from stash, Heidi Grace Designs glitter paper, Recollections, Hammermill and Brazzil cardstocks, Offray ribbon, ColorBox chalk ink, ZipDry glue, Fiskars papercutter, MS detailing scissors, HP printer & ink, stash button & brad

Stampin' Dymonz Grand Give-A-Way: Masking/Bee/Shimmer Tag

Ooh, did you see the tags for yesterday's Tim Times Ten Grand Give-A-Way Challenge at the Stampin' Dymonz blog? Wowzee.

It's only day 2 & I'm already having a ton of fun making tags, something I'm never really done. Oh I make tags for presents, but not the kind of pieces of art that folks are making. Today's tag needs to incorporate the following: Masking, Shimmery effect, and Bees. Yep, Bees!

Okay, so I know that my tag is a little odd perhaps, but when I think of bees I think of the recent lack of them, and how we actually need more bees in our garden (how else do our veggies get pollinated‽). Martha Stewart says that you can make your garden more inviting for bees by putting out bundles of bamboo that they can live in. We have a perfect place in the yard for one, but well I'm sure I'll get to it someday! It kinda bugs me to buy bamboo since the Baltimore area actually has some gorgeous stands of bamboo, but my husband frowns on me acquiring things off the side of the road & probably wouldn't appreciate having to explain my hacking at someone's bamboo side yard.

Anyhoo, that's how I came to the bee-and-bamboo theme. Also, I've been itching to use the Bamboo stamps from my Inkadinkado sets.

Somehow I only have 2 bee stamps, and one reminded me of the freaky bees from Futurama, so I settled on this waspy guy.

The photos didn't come out great, but I masked the bees before stamping the bamboo images. For the border piece, I ink-distressed it with "Peeled Paint" Tim Holtz ink (I used the same distress ink to edge all the pieces). I sprayed the pieces with Tattered Angels chalk mist (Banana Pudding) to add the required shimmery effect. After removing the masking paper (and saving the pieces to reuse later), I colored the bees (except for the wings) with Copics (Y000, FY1, FYG1). Then, because I just got my hot little hands on a Vermsamark watermark ink pen, I used it to heat-emboss the bees' wings with clear lemon embossing powder. I added added extra-distressing to the broder piece by cutting it out with deckle scissors before sanding it.

So fun! Can't wait for tomorrow's!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stampin' Dymonz Grand Give-A-Way: Nostalgic Tag

Today's the first day of the Tim Times Ten Grand Give-A-Way Challenge at Stampin' Dymonz's, and I'm going to try to do all ten tag challenges. I have many thins on my plate this coming week, so having a tag to make will keep me crafting without getting TOO distracted...that's the theory, anyway!

To make my life easier over the next 10 days, I cut templates for a 3-layer tag. It's very easy to do in SCAL, but if want to use my version you can download it here.

Today's challenge is "Nostalgic Tag", so I pulled out my Tim Holtz paper for inspiration. There's a page of old recipes, so I decided to make an apple-pie-themed tag.

I used an apple stamp from my stash, and colored it with copics; WOW that came out so good! I distressed the edges of the tags and added Tim Holtz Antique Linen distress ink as well.

The secondary challenge for today is to use the Tearing Technique, so I whipped out my Deckle Tear Edger and made a strip from a different part of the recipe paper. So fun!

I hadn't really thought about it before, but every side of my family has a traditional apple pie. Well okay, on Mom's side it's a tradition of buying a really good pie, but it's a tradition nonetheless! My Grandpa-in-law eats his with cheddar cheese; his daughter makes the most simple and delicious version; and my paternal aunt makes a gooey and glorious one.

Okay, where's the pie?!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For a Bold and Bright Mother

I've found myself with a little collection of Penny Black stamps (& really wanting more!), so I've started following their blog. This week's challenge is Bold & Bright, so I pulled out a couple of Hedgehogs-with-poppies. I've had California poppies on my mind since Perris, California came out, so I had lots of fun coloring this.Inspiration:
Penny Black Challenge: Bold & Bright

Supplies: Penny Black rubber & cling stamps, Heidi Grace Designs glitter paper, Brazzil cardstocks, Offray ribbon, Memento inks, ZipDry glue, Fiskars papercutter, MS detailing scissors

Copics: Y02, Y000, FYG1, Y08, Y13, Y17, YR09, YR12, FY1, G02, YG03, B0000, B00, FBG2, FB2, RV21, RV23, E17, E35, E33, E11

Bottle Cap Robots

One of my favorite creative things to do is to combine several challenges to create one card. My only problem is making the deadlines, as I tend to overthink these sorts of projects!
I just had to try this week's PaperWorks Co. (PWCO) Sunday Sketch; I liked the idea of making a "skinny" card. Then I saw the Circles Challenge at Cards for Men, and decided it was the perfect opportunity to use my new $1 circle-background stamp. Hmm, I always forget how difficult it is to line up rubber stamps...the border took me a few tries. Of course I wanted to heat-emboss it, so I stamped it in watermark ink, which meant that it was also invisible, which didn't help the lining-up problem.

Somewhere in there I discovered the Bottletops Challenge at Crafty Cardmakers (love the new look, ladies!) and decided it was fate: a chance to use some of those bottlecaps I save! I pulled three bronze-and-black caps (Monteith's beer...I don't remember when we had that! Luckily I'm very good at popping off tops without bending the cap; I never manage to buy screw-off tops!) and worked around that color scheme.

To pop the images, I cut up a cork (one of those non-cork plastic ones, which which like a dream), and glued it in after putting a hole in the cap with my Crop-O-Dile punch. Because I like things to move, I included brads so that the caps move together like gears.

I made this card with my best friend from college in mind; his favorite color is orange, and I've found that it always makes a good "splash" color.

Thanks everyone for the inspiration: I had tons of fun making this!

Crafty Cardmakers Spotlight Challenge: Bottletops
Cards for Men Challenge #9: Circles
PWCO Challenge: Sunday Sketch #79

Supplies: StudioG rubber stamps, Stampendous embossing powder, Versamark watermark ink, Marvy heat tool, MS detailing scissors, Recollections cardstock, ZipDry glue

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kashmiri Flower Card

I first discovered Priyanka's Creations when I saw her gorgeous bed card, and now that she has her images for sale at Gillu's Gallery, I just had to buy her Kashmiri Girl.

Kashmir is known as one of the most beautiful places in the world (Priyanka told me it is called Heaven on Earth), and the people bring most incredible varieties of flower to market in small boats. Kashmir is one of the few places where Saffron grows. We always have saffron on hand, for favorites such as paella and tah chin, and once you see how it is grown you'll understand why it's so prized: Just two threads of saffron grow in one delicate purple flower. I love the color combination of purple and red, despite being from a culture that mostly doesn't like it, so I took the opportunity to use it! I made the sentiment in PhotoShop, and you can download it through the link at the bottom of this post.

The colors of her cloths were inspired by this photo on Flicker.

Crafty Ann's Challenge #39: Fancy Folds
Digi stamp: Kashmiri Girl by Gillu's Gallery
Pop-out flower cut file: 3D Flower Cards set from

Adobe Garamond Sentiment: Download

Supplies: Relax, Recollections, and X-Press Copic cardstocks, Recollections vellum, Copic markers, Sakura Gelly Roll pens, Stampendous clear embossing powder, HP printer & ink, SCAL & Cricut

Monday, April 25, 2011

Egg Easel Card

The other day I saw this Sun-themed card by Laurence showcased on the TLC Creations blog, and I was hooked! I'd never seen a card like it. I'm not sure what to call it...a fold-out easel card?

It's taken me forever to blog about the two cards I subsequently made, but since Laurence has just become a follower, I thought I'd better take the time. Bienvenue and thank you for the inspiration!

The paper piecing I did on the egg card took time, but was SO worth it. I love the texture. The completed cards are small (I do love small cards!), only 3 inches.

Egg and sentiment digi stamps: Shelly's Images (thank you for the freebie)

For this one I also tried the "twisted easel" technique for the top layer. What can I say, I really really wanted to use my new Penny Black stamp set! I'm a little in love with these hedgehogs.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Slightly cracked and a little blue

I haven't participated in Dutch Dare Challenges recently, but I couldn't pass up the current one: Use the Cracked Glass technique. You know how I love a new technique...and heating four layers of embossing powder is my idea of a good time! It was really really fun.

The color inspiration is from the iCopic Monochromatic Challenge, but I'm not entering it into the challenge because I didn't really color with copics. I did, however, use copics for all the coloring. Boy are those great markers! I stamped the images in Baja Breeze Memento ink (both from Stampendous) on letterpress paper, then used BG10 liquid for the background and B00, B000, B32 & BG15 for details.

I made the card and frames in SCAL, did a little light distressing with sandpaper (after the paper was cut but was still on the mat), and voilà.

There are Worse Things I Could Do

I have at least four projects I need to complete like yesterday, so naturally the other morning I found myself looking at the new CDAC challenges and ended up spending much of the day having a blast with their Embellishment Challenge (and its freebie!) sponsored by Stamp-n-doodle. The card just came together all at once, but it then took me a few days to complete this post!

The challenge is to "fill your project with embellishments - pinks, purples, glitter, flowers, break out your faux pearls, shiny stones, etc." and I'm not sure how well my card applies to the challenge...but this is where my ideas took me. Oh, and I don't have many of the aforementioned embellishments, which was also a major issue!

Hopefully this sweet poodle skirt (dress?) cut file counts as an embellishment! As soon as I saw this image by Stamp-n-doodle, I just knew I wanted to cut some poodle skirts! I can't believe this beautiful file was a freebie; I edited it just a bit, in that I cut a separate poodle (I had to cut out the path points on the leash in SCAL...there's gotta be an easier way?) and put a slight "shadow" on the leash to make it a bit easier to cut out.

This wonderful image put me in my mind of the first Grease movie; if you've ever done much local theater, no doubt you've seen a version or two of the musical. My favorite song is "There are Worse Things I Could Do": "...I could hurt someone like me / out of spite or jealously. / I don't steal and I don't lie / but I can feel and I cry, / a fact I bet you never knew. / But to cry in front of you... / That's the worst thing I could do." Rizzo always seemed to me as a slightly better role model for the young woman than Sandra Dee's hopeless devotion, in the grand scheme of things.

CDAC Embellishment Challenge: We are going GIRLY!

Digi stamp: 50s Dreamin' by Stamp-n-doodle
Cut files: Poodle Skirt by Brittany's SVG Files
Sentiment border: Guitar Hero set by StudioG

Supplies: Core'dinations glittered cardstock, DCWV paper, Offray ribbon, Recollections cardstock & border punch, ZipDry glue, MS deatil scissors, Fiskars papercutter, tulle
Copics: E000, E02, E50, E51, E31, E33, E17, Y17, RV21, RV23, V06, V17, C-1, YG63, YG67, FB2, FRV1, FYG1

Update 5/5/11: This card was awarded this badge from the CDAC Dream Team. Thanks ladies!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Fun

I couldn't resist trying the Copic Family Challenge at Mad for Markers: you can only use YR, RV and BG Copics. I have 12 markers that qualify, and I really like the resulting combinations.

I also couldn't resist combing the CDAC Sketch challenge (sponsored by Shelly's Images) with the Easter challenge at Catch the Bug (Bugaboo's challenge blog). I wanted to use the freebie Shelly offered for the CDAC Embellishment challenge (sponsored by Bugaboo), so I did a little swapping. I'll post my other project soon.

Although this isn't my card for the Embellishment challenge, I did keep with the theme of Favorite Emebllishment and used eyelets. This is also my first try with plastic tape. Worked great!

As you can tell, I had some fun with the backgrounds. The edging was done with the chisel tip of a Copic against a ruler. The bunny's background was a new-to-me technique: using the Copic Colorless Blender liquid to create texture on colored pieces. Eek, what a cool technique!!! Instead of coloring the background with my marker, I applied BG10 solution with sponge (I've ended up with two big refills for that color!). I used terrycloth for the texture. For get a similar look on the bigger piece without using copic ink, I applied Marigold Distress Ink (thanks for the candy Stampin' Dymonz!) with the same kind of terrycloth.

I actually learned quite a bit making this card; thanks to everyone for the continuing inspiration!

CDAC Sketch Challenge (sponsored by Shelly's Images)
Mad for Markers Challenge: YR, RV and BG Markers only
Catch the Bug Challenge: Easter

Digi Stamps (thank you!):
Easter Bunny with Tulips: Bugaboo Stamps
Eggs: Shelly's Images

Copics: BG10, BG49, FBG2, RV29, RV04, RV23, RV21, RV42, YR01, YR00, YR09, YR12

Supplies: Colorbök decorative tape, Hammermill cardstock, flower brads (Oriental Trading Co.?), Crop-O-DileII, ruler, terrycloth, Copic Colorless Blender Solution, Scotch foam tape, ZipDry glue

Cool Card for a Cool Aunt

Dad's baby sister is about to turn 65, so I wanted to make her something special. She is definitely the "cool aunt" in my family, and has inspired me in many different ways over the course of my life.

I hadn't planned to make this card as part of a challenge, but then I saw the recipe challenge on the Crafty Hos' Challenge Blog. Another of my aunt's endearing traits is her wicked sense of humor: from her I've learned to appreciate fart, age and body-part jokes on a level most never enjoy. She'd love the name of their blog: Crafty Hos: they'd do anything to craft! And I think we both would secretly appreciate the fact that my dad wouldn't find this funny at all!

Since their challenge this week is a recipe plus a sketch, I had lots of inspiration. The recipe was to use a regular stamp and a digi stamp. No problem, right? I only do that every day. Of course, since I had to use both, I found myself either choosing one or the other... but then I decided that this Snoopy-and-Woodstock stamp would be fun to use on my aunt's card. She's the best to eat ice cream with, as she believes that making a mess is part of the enjoyment. So then I realized that the TLC Creations sentiment that I used for my treat holders would work perfectly. Funny how challenging a challenge can be!

Just by pure luck, I had an ice cream cone stamp from a set in my stash, and it could have been made to go with this Snoopy stamp! Let me tell you, it was much easier to cut out than Woodstock's tiny cone! But I just really like the look of paper piecing, so it's worth the work; plus, my hand hasn't been cramping so much so I'm working on the theory that all this cutting has actually helped me exercise my hand. Much more fun than squeezing a tennis ball like Grandma used to!

The moment I saw Kathy Racoosin's sponged-background tutorial on the Simon Says Stamp Blog, I knew I had to use it for this card. Wow, I'm happy with the result! It was super-duper fun too.

For the inside of the card, I used the Premium Pop-Up Cards template from SVGCuts. I bought it with one of their occasional discounts some time ago, and it's so handy. It can be easily sized to fit any card size, so I use it a lot to jazz up birthday cards (it come with other sentiments as well).

After cutting the card on my Cricut, I sprayed it with Yellow spray ink and Banana Pudding glimmer mist. Then I stamped the large ice cream cone in a few colors. Honestly, this card is making me really want strawberry ice cream!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Poetry Month fun

Well, April certainly has been good to me... this blog is at 27 followers! That's pretty amazing. Thank you everyone; if I'm not already a follower of your blog, be sure to leave your addy so I can see your work as well.

I also had the chance to finally stop by Stampin' Dymonz Scrap Shack's physical location; many thanks to my Baby for driving us across the city in that ever-intensifying rainstorm. Baltimore works well in the rain, however, especially with the cherry blossoms still holding on to their branches. Dymonz gave me some of the blog candy I'd won through her site, and BOY was it difficult to go grocery shopping and not stay to craft! Dymonz, did you know you gave me "diamond" Stickles‽ Made me smile, and ended up being just what I needed for the final touch on these Easter Ornaments/Teacups.

I about lost my mind when I saw these precious Plastic Egg Teacups by Sunghee, and I just had to try to make them. This would have made slightly more sense if I actually some kids to play with, but I figured I'd make them ornaments that could become a tea party when my niece comes to visit again. She knows how to throw a tea party!

For some reason, I decided that I had to stamp on the eggs. Why O why do I keep trying to stamp on round things‽ It never works out well for me. But I had to. It did not go well (thanks to StazOn Ink Remover, I was able to clean off my mistakes & reuse the eggs), at least until I got a small Stampin' Up rubber clear-mount stamp. Between the size and the soft cushion, I was able to get some fairly clean images.

Then I decided that I had to heat-emboss the stamps, to give them texture. The key to this seemed to be to get the entire egg piece to the right temp, let it all emboss at once in a second, and then take the heat away. This is certainly a project I need to revisit, it was too much fun.

And because I can't pass up an opportunity to include a little poetry, I printed out some haiku I wrote last Spring, cut out the 1.5 inch circles, and glued them into the top piece. For extra strength, I edged it with the "diamond" glitter glue I mentioned earlier. Originally, I was going to put the poem into the teacup part, but then I remembered my niece, who taught me how to have a proper tea party, and could just hear her saying, A poem in the tea‽ You silly goose! and I realized that having the poem as part of the hanging portion was even better. At age 3 she's already helping me design!

Speaking of poetry, Meredith Purvis is having a poetry challenge through the end of April. Anyone is eligible, and it's not so much a contest as a prompt to write and share:
    "Pay attention to the things you do each day, whether they are routine or unusual. Then turn that into a poem."
I hope you'll take up the challenge! She's also offering prizes:
  1. Your poem made into a book by Christina Gay (hey that's me!)
  2. A blank journal handmade by Jenny O'Grady
  3. A photo inspired by your poem by Avelino Maestas
  4. A $15 gift certificate to Powell’s Books
You can read the full rules here. And hey, if you write a poem I'd love to make a book from it no matter what. I'm always looking for new work to play with! Email me at cgsayssomethingloudly [at] gmail[ dot] com, and be sure to enter Meredith's Poetry Out of Nothing challenge.

Monday, April 18, 2011

An old-fashioned Family affair

So the other day I was yapping at my doctor and I mentioned the craftosphere and how I follow & am followed by like-minded crafters around the world. He looked at me, like he so often does, like I was some kind of wild hippie with a glue gun & a dream. I do respect him greatly, but it struck me how small we tend to make our personal world, for better or worse; Granted he has a good 40 years on me, but you'd think he'd be a little less surprised that technology has led to the simplest of conclusions: we're all pretty much the same. Culture and location have never really limited those of us who love to decorate our world.

That unnecessarily long introduction is just to say that I had tons of fun with the Technology Sucks challenge at Drunken Stampers. I'm also really loving seeing others' takes on the challenge. Normally, I would have used my Cricut to at least cut templates, but it was really fun to do it the old fashioned way: with my many, many tools.

After choosing the lovely combo of Kraft, Cherry Cobbler, Kiwi Kiss, Tangerine Tango + White from colourQ, I started by stamping and coloring the daffodil-and-tulip stamp for the inside; I still can't believe I paper pieced those little pieces! But I really like the resulting subtle texture.

For the flower border on the front, I stamped it three times: in cherry, orange & green. I made one-inch templates for the square and circle and did my best to line them to match the lovely CPS sketch. Then I made bottom layers, using the same inks.

When I had completed the border element, I showed it to my husband, who really loved it but wondered it we could add some color with fun flock (or embossing, but I didn't want to use my electric heat tool for this project). I've had great luck using ZIG 2-way glue to adhere flocking, so I was all over that suggestion. They come in different sizes, so I used the medium chisel for the flowers, and the fine point to trace the stamped sentiment.

Oh, and I decided to use watermark ink to create a shadow for the sentiment, because why not add one more thing?!

Speaking of "one more thing", I didn't want to edge the pieces (it just wasn't the look I wanted), so I used my ball-point embossing tool to create a raised border on the front and inside Kraft pieces. It's a bit difficult to see in the photos, but it adds more subtle texture.

So this is how we spent this Springy Sunday morning, crafting as a family!
Card Positioning Systems #214: Sketch
Drunken Stampers challenge #63: Technology Sucks / no electric tools
colourQ #80: Kraft, Cherry Cobbler, Kiwi Kiss, Tangerine Tango + White

Supplies: Memento, ColorBox and CraftSmart inks, Versamark watermark ink, Copic markers, MS detailing scissors, Fiskars papercutter and finger knife, ruler, Offray ribbon, ZipDry, ZIG and Tacky glues, embossing tool, Hammermill and Recollections cardstocks, pop-dots

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bunnies ain't fakin', a-whole lotta shakin' goin' on.

Easy now.
Shake, Baby, shake!
I'm entering this card into the Anything Goes/DT challenge at Aud Sentiments. Oh how I'd love to be a part of their team!

I also made this card for the following challenges, and I thank everyone for such great inspiration. I took each challenge very seriously, and enjoyed seeing how all the different ideas worked together. I'm really happy with how this turned out.

PaperWorks Co. Recipe Tuesday: Easter image, 2 papers, a bow
Paper Pretties Wednesday Challenge: Sketch
Cards for Men Challenge #8: Easter

The movement lines on this image really made me want to make a shaker card. I really like the result, but it took me 8 tries to get a complete, smudge-free stamp on the plastic. Thank to StazOn ink remover, however, I was able to clean the plastic to reuse. For the "shaking stuff", I used the multi-colored pile of scraps from this week's border-punching. I like how it sticks to the edges, but still shake really well.

For the sentiment, there was no question: TLC Creations! I'm so glad I bought her $10 sentiment license. She's always posting freebies like this one that I grabbed (with a thank-you, it's only fair) just knowing it would come in handy.

I added a green overlay to the sentiment image, made a banner with a yellow stroke in InDesign, and printed it at "Best" onto vellum. Then I heat-embossed it with transluscent yellow. For the inside sentiment, I hand-stamped it in green and embossed it with the same powder.

I found myself stuck with how to color this stamp, as it's so full of possibilities. So I asked my editor (and husband) and he said, They're Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail going to Sunday School. I never would have thought to color them like actual bunnies! Somehow he always knows the direction I really want to take, when I'm too busy looking in all directions.

The PaperWorks Co. "recipe" calls for only two [designer] papers, so I chose a stripe-embossed white paper and a busy black-and-white polka-dot paper. I liked how they contrasted with the bright spring colors. I also liked that I could have the stripes going one way behind the rabbits, and the other way for the card itself.

I cut the frame with SCAL & Cricut, adhered it to foam tape and then lined the the whole thing with ribbon. I think it adds a quiet touch of color, and was certainly easy to do.

Hope you'll consider entering some of these fun challenges, and thank you so much for visiting!
Bunny Hop stamp: The Peddler's Pack Stampworks
What's Shakin' sentiment digi stamp: TLC Creations
Happy Spring sentiment stamp: StudioG

Copic markers:
Rabbits: E35, RV21, E51, E33, E31, E000
Blues: B39, BG10, BG15, BG49, B23, B32, B05
Reds: R27, R59, R02, R29, RV29, E000, E02, RV23, RV21
Yellows: YO4, Y000, Y06, YR12, Y17, Y02, Y08, Y13

Update 5/2/11: This card made the Top 3 for the Cards for Men Easter Challenge.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A little grass for the chicks

I simply can't get enough of Sliding Treat Holders...they are just so precious and Spring-y.

I know I could have made these just because I wanted to, but I do love sharing my work with others via challenges, like these great ones going on now:
At least one of these challenge blogs is based in Germany, so I found myself thinking of some German friends when making these... Hope we can visit soon! But I've been saying that for over a decade now...

I cut pieces from the lattice border to make a grass-like border. It's a little difficult to see in these photos, but there's a lot of texture on these. After I colored the stamps with Copics, I used a glue stick to supply adhesive and covered them with Flocking. I treated the digi stamp sentiment similarly, except that I heat-embossed with transparent-yellow powder.

Sentiment digi stamp: TLC Creations
Bunny stamp: Inkadinkado
Decorated Egg stamp: CraftSmart

Copic markers:
Chick & details on rabbit: Y000, Y02, Y06, YR12, YR09, YR04, Y08
Bunny: RV23, E000, YR01, RV21
Eggs: BG10, B32, B05, B23

Sketchin' Hos / Raisin' Smiles

What a title, right‽ This card was inspired by a couple of "crafty" blogs: Crafty Hos' Color/Sketch challenge and Crafty Ann's challenge#38 (Raise a Smile), as well as the Two-color Card Cupids Challenge.
The colors chosen by Crafty Hos are Spring Green & Pastel Pink, but I included white and black details too, as well as two shades of the main colors. This small card shows off my two current favorite techniques: paper piecing & heat embossing.

I asked Mom if she had any spare easter-ish stamps, and she sent me the most wonderful box-full! She & Dad will be traveling throughout most of the Spring, so she sent me all the stamps she won't get to use this season. It's so nice how close crafting has made us, despite the 2000 actual miles.

I wanted to make sure I used the funny and seasonal "Easter Ribbit" she sent me, and remembered the humorous theme at Crafty Ann's...I wish I could have used one of her digi stamps, but this stamp was just perfect for this challenge!

Easter Ribbit stamp: Whipper Snapper Designs
Decorated Egg stamp: CraftSmart
Supplies: Martha Stewart two-toned paper, detailing scissors, border punch and pink embossing powder, Core'dinations cardstock, Versamark watermark ink, Stampendous embossing powder, Marvy heat tool, Sakura and Elmer's glitter pens, ZipDry glue, ZIG 2-way glue pen, tulle

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Poem as the Book

I'm super honored to have been encouraged by Meredith to participate in her poetry project on her blog, Half Starts & Trails Ofss.

I discuss the making of this piano-hinge book, which I made around a poem by Jenny O'Grady written in response to a painting by Melissa Van der Kaay for The Light Ekphrastic.

I've truly enjoyed Meredith's posts so far this month (including a wonderful one by her mom), so be sure to take a break and check them out.

I haven't been able to find a super tutorial of piano-hinge binding online, but there are several books with instructions available at the giant craft and book stores. It's fairly simple, once you get the hang of it. It's a heck of a lot easier than copic binding!You can use almost anything to bind it with: wooden skewers, toothpicks, coffee stirrers, chopsticks, straws, even sticks. My house is full of straight things I got for free around town, usually one at a time so that I don't feel like I'm actually hoarding.
And thank you to my editor Joshua, who wrote my post's intro paragraph with a better understanding of my written voice than I was managing to, and also for taking the photos of the book.

Supplies: Core'dinations cardstocks, Southworth Résumé paper, bird punch by ekSuccess, wooden skewers (from grocery store), HP printer & ink, acetate, SCAL & Cricut, Adobe InDesign, bone folder, ZipDry glue

I put together this basic tutorial on how to "stamp" with your printer.

You can view my other piano hinge books here.

All of my mini-books are here.

Read my whole article about this book on Half Starts & Trail Offs.