Monday, September 21, 2009

Look Maw...No Stamps!

My sister-in-law asked for a special card for her friend's daughter who is getting married in October. We perused the portfolio of photos the couple had taken with a professional photographer and chose a beautiful picture of them that featured the couple slightly out of focus in the background, but their clasped hands as the focal point in the foreground. To me, this photo clearly illustrated the joining of two souls to become one and I immediately thought of the poem Two Doves to use inside the card. Wow, I had selected the main image and even a verse for the inside of the card...I was on a roll! (By the way, all of their photos were gorgeous!)

When it came time to actually make the card, that was a different story. This was an absolute first for me. No rubber stamps were harmed (or inked) during the making of this card. There are no stamped images featured here as I didn't want the wonderful photo of the engaged couple to have to compete with any other elements on the card. Hopefully, the paper and the embellishments I chose to use, enhance the photo and do not detract from it. That was my goal anyway, only you, the viewer know whether I was successful ;-) Be gentle with your criticism...LOL!

The most agonizing part of making this card was cutting into that lovely photo! Ohhhh...the guilt!! I only had one and there was no room to make a mistake. It's not like I could substitute a magazine cutout of Brad and Angelina from the Enquirer. I'm sure someone would notice! LOL!! After about 30 minutes of hemming and hawing I finally stuck that puppy in the CuttleBug and sent her through, all the while holding my breath!! Phew...everything worked out ok :) I let out a huge sigh of relief. The rest of the details are fairly self-explanatory. The papers are from the Windsor collection by SEI. I added a few paper flowers, some pearls, a touch of ribbon, and one carefully chosen decorative brad, and that was that :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe

My friend asked me to make her a birthday card for her mother. She is a very spiritual woman, so my friend asked that I include the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the card. I used a beautiful stamp made by OLOR (Our Lady of Rubber) and colored the image with my handy dandy Copic markers. I added a bit of sheen to a couple of areas using my Spica pens. I combined the image with some lovely papers from the Urban Prairie collection by Basic Grey and added a few paper flowers, some gems, and a couple of great gold embellishments. I know some folks believe "less is more", but I am a firm believer that "more is more"...LOL!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

DIY Metal Embellies

I'm certainly not an expert on working with metal, but boy, is it a lot of fun. With the use of a couple of tools, you can create your own one-of-a-kind metal embellishments, which will look fab on all of your art projects. All of the tools used in these photos are by Ten Second Studio.

First, I started by stamping an image onto an aluminum sheet of metal with Staz On ink. I trimmed the image out with a pair of sturdy, but sharp scissors.

Second, working on a foam mat, I used a stylus to deboss around the shape of the heart on the front (stamped) side. I flipped the heart over and on the back I used a paper stump to rub out the area inside the heart. This creates a dimensional effect on the metal and makes the heart appear to be round and full.

Next, I flipped the heart over to the front and debossed all of the areas that I wanted to appear to be "impressed" into the metal.

Finally, I flipped the heart over to the back and embossed all of the areas that I wanted to "pop" on the front of my image. It takes a bit of work, but if you go back and forth between embossing and debossing the metal, you will end up with an awesome metal embellie that looks nothing like what you started out with.

It took me roughly 10 minutes to make this sacred heart from beginning to end, so there really is not a lot of time invested here. Also, for my project, I like the look of the black ink against the metal, because it gives it a rustic look, but you can easily reverse the project and end up with a nice clean silver embellishment if you like. Try it, you'll like it ;D

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dia de los Muertos

As you can tell, It's only September, but the Halloween and Dia de los Muertos holidays are beckoning to me and I can't ignore their cries :D I created a card (sort of) for Dia de los Muertos, using a very popular image by Invoke Arts depicting a skeleton adorned with roses. You will most likely recognize this image from the album art on one of the Grateful Dead's album covers. Here I have colored the image with Copic markers and then embossed it 4 times with the aid of my ever so faithful Versamarker and some clear embossing powder. I just can't get enough of this technique. I love it when people see it and ask "How did you do that?". I feel like a magician ;-)

Next, I stamped the frame with Staz On ink in black on a metal aluminum sheet from 10 Second Studio and trimmed the image out using a pair of good, sturdy scissors. I also used a craft knife on a cutting mat to remove the center portion of the frame. Using a stylus and some decorative tools from 10 Second Studio, I embossed the stamped design on the metal. Occasionally, I flipped the project over and debossed the other side to make my details really pop. I also added a few details of my own with the Ball and Cup tool. A few highlights with the Copics and my frame was finished in no time.

I added twine, a milagro, a bottle with a message, and some paper flowers to finish it off. My favorite detail has to be the tiny glass bottle holding the handwritten message reading, "The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. - Seneca". A wonderful message indeed, and to me, it so eloquently captures the spirit of Dia de los Muertos.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sympathy Card

Sympathy Cards can be some of the most challenging cards to create. Creating cards during happy circumstances can be difficult enough, but making a card to recognize the passing of a loved one can be extremely delicate for lack of a better term. During these times I am usually drawn to simple, clean images that focus on natural elements. There is a serenity evident in nature that calms the soul and provides a passage for recognizing peace in even the most turbulent of times. For this card I turned to some lovely nature images by Character Construction and kept the color palette focused on soft greens and blues. I found this verse by Lord Byron while doing some research on the Internet and it seemed to convey the message that out of great sorrow and despair, there is always a ray of hope and a glimmer of life:

"In the desert a fountain is springing,
in the wide waste there still is a tree,
and a bird in the solitude singing,
which speaks to my spirit of thee."