Monday, August 31, 2009

Autumn Bird Cards

It's still nice and warm here in Albuquerque, so Fall weather is far from my mind. However, a couple of cards using warm Autumn colors seems just the ticket to get the ball rolling :) These cards feature images from Tim Holtz' set Artful Flight and a new Design Block stamp by Hero Arts, Antique Flower Background. The birds were embossed 3 times with the help of my trusty Versamarker. The birdcage was colored with Copic markers and also embossed 3 times. The addition of some Nestability die cuts and some embellishments finish these cards off nicely. Nothing fancy and nothing too time consuming. Sometimes these types of cards are just the ticket when time is at a premium, but you need a card to just say "hi, I'm thinking about you" :D

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I'm dreaming of ...Halloween!!

Hello All! I know it's a bit early to start thinking about Halloween, but I was working on some new class ideas and couldn't help but head in the Ghouls and Goblins direction for my September class at China Phoenix 2. I love all things Tim Holtz, but I have never really played with his techniques for creating wonderful distressed backgrounds, so I thought...why not give it a try. Now, trust me, I know I am no Tim Holtz, so these are no where near his caliber of creativity, but I had so much fun, that it didn't really even matter... :D

I started by getting my "brand new" Ranger craft sheet out that I've had for years and dusting it off...LOL!! I swiped Peeled Paint and Spiced Marmalade Distress ink pads on it in a large enough area to cover an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of smooth white coverstock (I like Neenah Solar White). Then I spritzed with just enough water to see it start to bead on the craft sheet. I added a couple of more spritzes in just a few spots to make the colors bleed a little more in these areas, but be careful, because it will get "muddy" real fast with too much water. Then I laid my coverstock down and pulled it across the craft sheet. I quickly dried it with the heat gun and then laid it down again on the ink leftover on the craft sheet to achieve a few interesting blotches on my paper. I completely dried it with the heat gun and then cleaned up my craft sheet with a wet cloth. I ironed the paper with a craft iron on my craft sheet (because it is heat safe) in order to make the paper a bit smoother and easier to work with. I had my craft sheet laid out on a large pad of paper for the ironing, because I didn't want to risk damaging my table. Then I added images from the Tim Holtz Spooky Stuff and Trick or Treat collections and ...voila!!! Background paper!! I selected a few key images from those same sets and stamped and embossed them several times with the aid of my handy dandy Versamarker to make them really stand out against my background paper. I felt like a little kid in art class and had the best time :D

Friday, August 21, 2009

Masculine Cards

Do you ever have trouble creating masculine cards? I know I do. I hate to stereotype cards for the men in our lives, but it seems the manly "go-to" color palette consists of lots of blues, greens, and browns. I'd like to say that I broke away from that mold with this card, but alas, you can see, I did not....LOL! I say if it works, then go with it :D However, there's no reason why we can't add terrific patterned papers, lots of interesting embellishments, and dimension. Here I used some wonderful stamped images by Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous. His images are some of my favorites! I stamped them with Versafine ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. I pulled out my good old friend, the Versamarker pen, and embossed the images 2 more times to give them a glossy, lacquered look. I also added lots of dimensional foam tape to several of the layers, because I like a special card to have some depth and weight to it when I'm giving it as the main gift. Finished it off with paper flowers, gems, a tiny bit of ribbon, and even some glitter glue around the edge of the main panel. These items satisfy my need for bling without making it too girly. And hey...if it's too girly, too bad! LOL! It's a handmade card for crying out loud :D

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Party Girl

My best friend requested a birthday card for her sister-in-law and she specifically asked for this great image by Bombshell Stamps. They are an awesome stamp company and specialize in pin-up girl and tattoo style images. Their stamps are so unusual and so beautiful! I am completely addicted to them right now and you will see more cards featuring them on my blog in the future. I kept the color palette in this project to a very classic red, white, and blue. The primary colors seem to work so well with these stamps. I colored the girl in the glass, and the birds with Copic markers. I added Versamarker to the martini glass and then embossed with clear embossing powder. I did this three times to really give it a glassy finish. If you've never tried this technique, I highly recommend it. It is super easy to do and yet it adds a really dramatic bit of detail to the finished project. I also popped the image with foam tape to add dimension and did it again to the leg hanging over the side of the glass. A few flowers and gems and the front of this card is finished!

The inside is layered with papers and the left side contains a pocket so my friend can add a personal note or a gift card. I also created a presentation box to house the card, which makes it even more special for the recipient. This project was so much fun to make, if you would like more details, leave me a comment on this post and I will be happy to answer.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Love of My Life...Copic Markers

The love of my "crafting" life, anyway!

I received my very first comment on my blog and I am giddy with excitement!!! Hi Cynthia!! She reminded me that in Saturday's class we used Copic markers to add color to our images and some of the folks attending wanted me to give them a list of my favorite colors. If you're not familiar with these fabulous tools, they are alcohol ink markers that provide excellent, streak-free coverage. The finish is smooth and they are available in over 300 colors. The 12 colors in the photo above are my absolute faves, meaning I absolutely could not live without them. Here's a break down:

0 Colorless Blender - not so much a blender as a color "remover". Great for adding highlights or correcting a small mistake.
BG10 Cool Shadow - ever so light, this color is great for outlining an image and giving it depth. It almost disappears.
BG72 Ice Ocean - a beautiful shade of blue green.
BV04 Blue Berry - a lovely shade of blue violet.
C3 Cool Gray No. 3 - a light shade of gray that can be used to outline an image, but also looks great applied as color or shading.
E00 Skin White - perfect for skin tones.
E02 Fruit Pink - a nice blush of color for cheeks or shading around hairline.
E31 Brick Beige - a neutral color. Great for adding a ground shadow to an object or person.
R29 Lipstick Red - a wonderful shade of red.
Y21 Buttercup Yellow - a terrific soft yellow that is not too bright (I'm not talking about its IQ!)
YG03 Yellow Green - just what the name says, a great yellow green color.
YR07 Cadmium Orange - I love orange and my faves wouldn't be complete without this color.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Saturday Class at CP2

I'm teaching a class this Saturday at the local stamp store, China Phoenix 2, and thought I would share a couple of photos. We'll be working with the Cuttle Bug, some nestabilities, and embossing folders. I can't wait! The stamps used here are by Hero Arts and I added some fun embellishments to give the projects some sparkle. I also added lots of foam tape for dimension. I'm a big fan of using foam tape on card projects!! The bigger, the better...sort of how I like my hair!! LOL!! Enjoy!

I know I put that blog here somewhere...

Well, it's time to get this blog up and running! I've only had it for a year and this is my third about putting things off. My main goal for starting this blog is to offer tips and share ideas for creating handmade cards. I'm fascinated with the prospect of putting this info out into the blog universe and seeing if anyone will read it. Here goes nothing! Tomorrow I plan on uploading my first pictures...wish me luck!