Thursday, January 31, 2008

15 Minute Project ... Pretties in Less Than 1/4 of an Hour

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I get lots of emails from you ... not necessarily YOU you, but someone else kinda sorta like you ... asking for more 15 Minute card projects that don't require ink and stamps.

Using speciality paper from K & Company's "Smitten" collection, a pair of decorative-edge scissors, and a couple-three punches, I came up with this 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" side-folded, no-stamps, no-ink, card.

The base was created from Bazzill Basics textured cardstock, my favorite card-making card stock. I used one side of this beautiful double-sided speciality paper to create my tree. I hope you can see the shimmery pink foil hearts sprinkled throughout the pattern!

I sketched my trunk on the backside of my paper and cut it out -- no need to be particularly careful here, all trees look a little different. Next, I used two sizes of spiral punches to create the branches. Some spirals were trimmed a bit and others were left as is.

My mat was created using the reverse side of the paper; on it, I laid out my trunk and branches in a pleasing design. You can make as many, or as few branches as you like ... I created several branches as my heart embellishments were smallish; only 3/8" tall.

Then using slivers of regular scotch tape, I pieced my branches together and adhered them to the trunk. If you wanted to adapt this tree concept for larger embellies, such as felt birds, paper flowers, or rubber stamped images, you'd use less branches leaving more space for your decorative elements.

After my branches were adhered to the back of the tree and I was happy with the layout, I used Scrap Fusion adhesive over the entire backside, then glued the tree in place on my mat. From the same paper, I punched out two key tags and folded them over the edge of the mat, then adhered everything to my card stock.

Finally, I applied red, self-adhesive 3/8" hearts and 1/8" faux gemstones to the branches. From the same sheet of paper, I cut a 4 1/4" strip using 'Big-Cuts, Jagged Edge' scissors and applied it over the bottom edge of the mat, including the base of the 'tree.'

This particular card would make a great Valentine or anniversary card, but what I love about this design is it's adaptability! By swapping out your embellishments, you can use this design to create an Easter tree, a birthday tree, a new baby tree, a wedding tree, even a Halloween tree!

Even better, created in 15 Minutes using nothing but card stock, designer paper, punches, and some cute embellishments!

Ingredients:

  • ~Textured Card Stock: Bazzill Basics "Monochromatics"
  • ~Patterned Paper: 'Smitten' Speciality Papers (K & Company)
  • ~Stamps: None
  • ~Ink: None
  • ~Adhesives: Tape Runner (Tombow Mono); Scrap Fusion glue (Ivy Hollow); Transparent Tape (3M); ATG #714 (Scotch)
  • ~Accessories: Rhinestone Self-Adhesive Stickers (Darice)
  • ~Tools: Key Tag punch (Stampin' Up!); Large spiral punch (McGill); Small spiral punch (EK Success); Big-Cuts Jagged Edge Scissors #34-0041 (Provo Craft) Scor-it Board (Hammond)

Thanks so much for sharing part of your day with me!

~Hugs, Deb

Who Were YOU?

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I just can't resist this silly stuph:

In a Past Life...


You Were: A Genius Poet.

Where You Lived: Tibet.

How You Died: Hung for treason.

Now you go:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Copic Marker / Prismacolor "Premier" Pencil Comparison

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Click on this image: can you see the difference? Is that difference worth hundreds of dollars??

I'm being completely honest when I tell you that I'm a tool junkie. I love tools, all tools, any tools. I covet tools! And I don't discriminate, I want 'em all: markers, pencils, rulers, tapes, glues, punches, scissors, dies, eyelet setters, embossing tools, measuring tools, sanding tools, well, you get the picture!

When the Prismacolor Premier colored pencils first came on the rubber stamping/paper crafting scene, they were hailed as the greatest. thing. ever. to use for coloring. And while that's still true, and no secret to the hundreds of thousands of artists who'd been (and still are) using these amazing pencils, the rubber stamping/paper crafting world quickly embraced them, cherished them, and called them their own.

But now, suddenly, they've been pushed aside by the newest. greatest. thing. ever: Copic markers.

I own $80.00 worth of Prismacolor Premier pigment pencils ... or, 72 colored pencils. I also own $160.00 worth of Copic markers ... or, 48 markers. So, in a convoluted manner of speaking, I've paid twice as much for the Copic's and got half as many coloring tools ... and my marker collection is far from complete. I definitely need more of the lighter shades for blending. I figure I need at least another 6 or 8 markers (at 3.99 +/- each), to complete my somewhat limited palette.

I'd also like to point out that I'm purchasing Copic 'Ciao' markers; not the more expensive 'Sketch' markers.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm a beginner with the Copic's ... there's a fairly steep learning curve with these tools and I've got a long way to go. But today, as a test, I decided to stamp and color two images: one with the Copic's and one with the Prismacolor's.

I used the same card stock to stamp my image; I also used the same ink. And I tried to match the colors I used as carefully and as closely as possible. When completed, I mounted the stamped images on identical turquoise card stock.

Now, look again at the above photo ... they match up pretty closely, wouldn't you say?

As far as ease of use goes, I have to pick the Prisma's. In fact, I basically scribble in my colors, blending with an inexpensive paper stump and odorless mineral spirits, also quite inexpensive. I go back over my colored images with lighter tones in the same color family, creating highlights, and darker tones creating shadows. The truth is, most art-style rubber stamps are created with shading marks indicating where the stamp artist wants his or her shadows. If I make a mistake, or go out of the lines, I can erase the wayward pencil marks and continue. It's pretty hard to go wrong here.

Using the Copic's, I find I have far less brush control; even the super brush end is fairly wide. By and large, I'm coloring rubber stamped images and more often than not these images are small ... in fact, downright tiny in some cases! Imagine how much better these markers would be if that brush was half of it's current size.

Which causes me to mention this: there's no erasing your mistakes using alcohol-based markers. You may be able to remove some of the color using your colorless blender but it's not going away. Which is why most artists recommend that when you create an image to color, create two ... or even three, so that you're prepared for the almost inevitable coloring mishap.

One other thing I dislike about the Copic's is the bleed-through they create. I realize that most people aren't going to pull up my colored image to see what the backside looks like but I know it's there and I don't like it much. I always use top-of-the-line 110# card stock or Bristol vellum for stamping and coloring; this isn't about coloring on an inferior paper. I can't help but wonder what this bleed-through does, or might do, to the overall integrity of the card stock.

Also, you must be absolutely certain you've really snapped those marker covers on tightly; left open, or even slightly uncovered, they'll completely evaporate in a matter of hours. And I've discovered that a marker that looks tightly closed, isn't necessarily ... push harder a second time on your closed cap, and I'll bet you'll feel it 'snap' together. So, on top of all my usual craziness, I'm now paranoid about firmly capping (and double-checking), my Copic's!

The last thing is a minor detail but worth mentioning when using alcohol-based markers and inks. They stain. Badly. And usually, permanently.

On the Copic plus side, these markers are refillable and the nibs are replaceable. I've no idea what a new nib, or a set of new nibs costs, but I do know that it's not cheap to refill the markers. Having said that though, refilling your marker is far less expensive than replacing it.

I also like the wide range of colors available for the Sketch markers ... although the range is not nearly as wide if you're purchasing the Ciao's, as I am.

You can also airbrush with the Sketch Copic's ... you can't airbrush with the Ciao's, but I hear through the alcohol marker grapevine *wink* that there will be an airbrush system available sometime in the future for use with the Ciao's.

Somewhere here in blogdom I recently watched a video tutorial by a smart gal who uses dimensionals to adapt the airbrush fittings to accept the Ciao's. If anyone has a link or remembers the name and/or blog of this savvy marker person, let me know and I'll add it to this post.

The one thing I do love about the Copic's is that you can color-match practically anything with them. Don't have a ribbon to match to your project? Grab your Copic and color one to match! You can color acetate, metal, acrylic, fabric, and lots more. As a rule, if you can color it with alcohol ink, you can color it with your Copic's.

But as much as I love the idea of perfectly matching ribbon, I just don't think the end justifies the very expensive means. I can only go by my own experience and comparisons, but I honestly don't see all that much of a difference in these two samples. Do you?

Oh, the Copic colored image is on the left; the Prismacolor pencil colored image is on the right.

From my personal blurfing around in blogdom, I've noticed that lots of artists are really on the fence about purchasing these markers. The cost, obviously, is a huge factor. And the learning curve is steep. And by and large, most of us are using Copic markers to color rubber stamped images; which, while oftentimes beautiful, meaningful, and important, aren't exactly timeless masterpieces.

So, honestly, is the difference in these colored images worth the price?!?

You know what? I don't think it is ...

I'd love to have your opinion! Please feel free to post your thoughts and feelings on this subject so that we all might benefit from your knowledge. And it's a safe bet that you've got way more experience with Copic's than I.

Thanks so much for sharing part of your day with me!!

~Hugs, Deb

* EDITED TO ADD: I believe I've inadvertently caused a little confusion here. The Prismacolor pencils I'm referring to throughout are the Prismacolor 'Premier' pigment pencils ... NOT Prismacolor watercolor pencils (which are also terrific but not the subject of this post). Thanks!

Monday, January 28, 2008

15 Minute Project ... And a 'Basic Grey' Challenge Entry

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This 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" top-folded card was created for Allison's "Basic Grey" blog challenge ... and also to send to my sweet B-in-L, John, for his 25th 29th 35th 43rd 21st b-day!

I fudged and fussed and refudged and refussed with this card all day ... really! I kept trying to add embellies, or ribbons, brads, dew drops, or charms ... something, anything to give this card a little more ... stuph.

In the end, I gave up decided that the designer paper was busy enough and that maybe this card really didn't need anything else ... at least not anything that I had hangin' around!

So long as you don't try to add any 'stuph' to this card, you'll have one of the fastest 15 Minute Projects ... ever!

I used Bazzill Basics for my card base and added a square of Basic Grey's "Cashmire" paper from the "Urban Couture" collection.

I stamped my image on Xerox 110# card stock with Palette Hybrid ink and colored in the 'A' with a Copic marker (YG95).

I used an oval Classic Nestie to cut out the image and created the scallop edge with an oval Petite Scallop Nestie using a scrap of the textured card stock.

Ingredients:

~Textured Card Stock: Bazzill Basics
~White Card Stock: Xerox 110#
~Designer Paper: "Cashmire" from Basic Grey's "Urban Couture" collection
~Stamp: "Age Takes it's Toll" (River City Rubber)
~Ink: Palette Hybrid (Burnt Umber)
~Color Medium: Copic Marker (YG95)
~Adhesive: Tape Runner (Tombow Mono)
~Tools: Die Cut Machine (Provo Craft); Nestabilities Dies (Spellbinders); Scor-It Board (Hammond)

Soooo, whaddya thin' ... too plain and boring? Don't worry, you can tell me the truth, I can take it: I'll only cry a little.

Thanks for sharing your day with me!

~Hugs, Deb

And the Winner is ...

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Post #17: Linda SS!

Linda, please email me your address and I'll get your goodies out to you ASAP!

I'm also gonna send some fun blog candy to Brenda who posted, "You're a funny girl alright....what are you doing posting on Jan.25, 2009?? (What time zone are you in??)"

Brenda is the only commentor who noticed that I had changed the date to January 25, 2009 ... that was what I meant when I wrote, "OR, ... tell me ...'there's something seriously wrong with this post.'" So, Brenda please email me your address and I'll send you some fun freebies, too!

Both of you can reach me via email: debkneer@aol.com

Thanks so much to all of you for posting! I had so much fun doing this that I'll be posting another blog candy give-away soon!

~Hugs, Deb

Sunday, January 27, 2008

15 Minute Project ... And a 'Scalloped Edge' Challenge Entry

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This 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" side-folded card was created for Sharon's "Scalloped Edge" blog challenge.

One of Sharon's challenge requests is to 'stamp simply' ... well, it doesn't get any simpler than this little ditty! So, yes, boys and girls, this card is definitely a "15 Minute Project!"

I used Bazzill textured card stock in 'Pomegranate' for my base. I stamped my image, (such a cute one too!), in Palette Hybrid ink on digitally created scrapbook paper.

**See, I use digital scrap book paper to prevent me from having to use any of the gorgeous designer papers I've got squirreled away. And, oh, yes, I keep buying more to hoard ... seriously, I think I am part-squirrel!**

I stamped the image four more times on scraps and cut out the heart ... then pieced them on the original images.

Using my scalloped-edge scissors, I cut a 1/2" faux ribbon from scraps of digital paper and slid a scalloped circle ribbon slide in place.

And that's it ... so fast and easy, I had time to clean my stamp and my work table, all in less than 15 Minutes!

Ingredients:

~Textured Card Stock: Pomegranate (Bazzill Basics)
~Patterned Paper: Digitally created using photo editing software
~Stamp: Katie & Co (for Studio G)
~Ink: Palette Hybrid 'Noir' (Stewart Superior)
~Accessories: Ribbon Slide (Unknown; found buried in Mt. Ribbon Slide)
~Tools: Scallop Edged Scissors (Fiskars); Double-sided Adhesive (Scotch ATG)

Thanks for visiting and don't forget to post a comment in the blog-post below for a chance to win some kewl blog candy!

~Hugs, Deb

Friday, January 25, 2008

Win Some Blog Candy!

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To celebrate my 1,000th visitor, I'm giving YOU these ^ goodies. Well, maybe not YOU you, but your chances are as good as anyone else's! Click on the image for a better view ... then click again, for a gi-normous view!

Please, just one post per person, okeedokee?

If the random number generator picks your post number, I'll be sending you ... well, maybe not YOU you:

  1. A brand-new 'Heart Wreath' wood mounted stamp by Double D ... (the stamp measures 3"ish x 4"ish ... and this image is a good one to color!);
  2. A packie of Scotch 'Tie-Downs' in Classic Colors;
  3. A packie of I Kan' Dee 'Twist Ties' in the 'Love' theme;
  4. A packie of silver metal, flat-back 'Birds and Nest' embellishment-thingie's by Memories in the Making;
  5. A brandy new packie of 1/4" 'May Arts' ribbon (a yard? 2? 3? ... honestly, I don't know/remember - but there's definitely ribbon in this packie), from Verve Visual; and,
  6. Nine heart-shaped, flat-back heart buttons.
Simply post a comment ... oh, you can say 'hi,' or 'nice blog,' or, 'it's cold here,' (not HERE though!), or, 'you're a funny girl,' or 'there's something seriously wrong with you,' or, 'there's something seriously wrong with this blog,' OR, 'there's something seriously wrong with this post,' or, whatever. Oh, and please number your post.

And that's it! Just two little-bitty, teeny-tiny things to do.

On Sunday night, I'll post the number the random number generator picked ... and the name left in the corresponding post.

And then, what fun you and I will have!! First you'll see your name, and then you'll email me your snail-mail addy, and then I'll mail you all the goodies!

May the best number win!!

Thanks for visiting and have a creative weekend!

~Hugs, Deb

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Are You Axin' Me?!?

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Many of you have written with questions and I thought I'd use today's post to answer a couple of them.

QUESTION from Codie: “What is your way of taking photos? How do you get them so clear?? What type of camera do you use? Your lighting??...type of bulbs...watts...etc...-photo editing program...do you use one???”

The ANSWER: I take all of my photos in my art studio ... I set up large sheets of white paper to use as a back drop; I spread out a few more to use as the foreground.

My camera is fairly new and there was a steep learning curve for me ... my old digi-camera was about 6 years old and a lot has changed since then. The camera I use is a Vivitar Series 1 ViviCamX30. It takes movie clips, voice overs, and does all kinds of kewl and magical-like things I haven't even begun to understand!

Two settings I do understand, and use all the time are: 'Macro' and 'Daylight.'

The specifics are: 10.1 megapixels, 3x optical zoom lens, 2.5" LCD monitor, digital anti-shake. I purchased mine quite inexpensively at a 'Big Lots' in West Palm Beach, Florida. I think it was a 'one and done' deal though, as friends in other parts of the country have gone to their 'Big Lot's' and couldn't find them ... it's possible that this was just a one-store, or one-state bargain.

I edit my photos in an ancient program Microsoft bundled 10-12 years ago with Microsoft FrontPage. It was originally known as "Altimara' and was an Italian image editing product. Microsoft bought 'em out 'cuz the product was awesome, (easier to use than Photoshop and does just as much), but about 8 years ago, for some unknown reason, Microsoft suddenly stopped supporting the program. I'm prolly one of a handful of people on the planet that knows this software and uses it daily. It's called "Image Composer" and it's still possible to find some info about the product on the web. Unfortunately, it can't be purchased or downloaded anywhere.

When I'm working on my photos, I always tweak the settings: especially "Highlights" ... that's where the superior color comes from! I also 'sharpen' every photo just a bit. No matter what photo editing program you use, you should be able to find these settings, or something similar, in your software. Practice tweaking your images with these settings and soon your photos will look awesome!

And that's about it; oh, and no flash, EVER!

QUESTION from Ruth Ann: "I left a question for you in a comment but you didn’t email me back; how come?"

The ANSWER: Unless you’ve set up your personal Blogger account to publish your email address in comments, I have no way of knowing what your email addy is. So, that makes it pretty much impossible to respond to you via email, LOL!

The best way to have a two-way with me is to subscribe to the comments post you’ve commented in. Confused yet?

LOL, in other words, when you’re leaving me a comment, notice the box that reads, “email follow-up comments to ….” If you check that box, when I respond to your question or comment on the blog, you’ll receive an email from Blogger advising you that I’ve responded … and provide you with my response. Easy-peasy!

I’m sure this answer will help a bunch of you because I wondered the same thing myself when I first starting blog-hoppin’ … so, thanks for asking Ruth Ann!

QUESTION (from Karly): "You keep mentioning that you 'blend your colored pencils with Gamsol and a stump.' What the heck is this stuff?"

The ANSWER: This is a really good question because I have a tendency to assume that everyone is working at the same experience level. Thanks for reminding me there’s a lot of people just beginning to stamp, scrapbook, alter, and make cards. I’ll try to be more aware of that fact in the future.

To answer your question, Gamsol, a Gamblin product, is the brand name for Odorless Mineral Spirits (OMS). OMS is generally quite inexpensive; I purchase mine in 16 ounce cans online from DickBlick. When you color with a high-pigment colored pencil like the Prismacolor’s, the OMS ‘melts’ the pigment allowing it to be thinned and moved. This is a very simple technique and can be accomplished by anyone at any skill level.

One precaution: some people have allergic reactions to OMS … you should always use OMS in a well-ventilated area. And always keep your OMS covered as it will evaporate rather quickly. I transfer a small amount of OMS in to a small dauber top bottle, tapping my stump on the spongy surface to pick up the Gamsol as needed. Practice makes perfect but it’s a quick study!

A stump is created out of paper that has been tightly wrapped into a long, thin cylinder. They are available in any art store; I purchase mine online where ever and when ever I can find stumps that have been made in Taiwan ... you'll have to search for them, but sometimes you can find Taiwanese stumps at DickBlick.

Why Taiwan? For the most part, paper stumps are manufactured in Asia. You wouldn’t think that there could be a difference in paper stumps, but there most definitely is: always try to purchase stumps made in Taiwan as opposed to those made in China. They can be harder to find that those made in China but they are absolutely worth taking the time to find. So, listen to me now, believe me later ... or spend the extra money and try both; a side-by-side comparison will definitely convince you!

Between colors, you ‘clean’ your paper stump on fine sandpaper. I always try to sand my stumps’ points extra-sharp; a sharp point makes it easier to move and blend color in small spots such as those found on rubber stamped images.

Over the years, I have tried several different brands of colored pencils. Without question, the Prismacolor ‘Premier’ colored pencils manufactured by Sanford, work the best for me. They can be more expensive than the others but well worth the price; and don’t forget that a colored pencil will last for many years.

If you don’t want to jump in and spend a lot money for sets (Prisma’s come in sets of 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 120, and 132 pencils), try purchasing individual pencils (Dick Blick sells single pencils), and see if they’re something you’d like to invest in. I think you will, so I’d suggest that if you can find a good buy (try eBay), on a set, go for it! I don’t think you’ll ever regret your decision to purchase them and these pencils will perform beautifully for you for years.

Finally, when coloring your image with pencils blended with OMS, no fixative or preservative needs to be applied to keep your colored image bright, clean, and smudge-free.

If I didn't answer your question this time, I'll do this again next week, too.

Thanks so much for sharing your day with me!

~Hugs, Deb

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two 15 Minute Projects = One All-Occasion Card

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Today’s card was created in two sittings; in the first I stamped and colored my image, and in the second, I put it all together. You can click on the image for a closer look.

I used Stampin’ Up! Blue Bayou card stock for the base of this card. The torn-edge brown mat is Bazzill Basics; the 'Bird Eggs' image was stamped on my favorite white card stock, Xerox 110#… also torn.

I colored the stamped image using Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol (OMS), blending with a stump. I mounted the image on the brown mat using dimensionals.

Using a distressing tool, I distressed the top and side edges of both the white and the brown card stock. I love my pink Heidi Swapp paper distresser and use it often; if you don’t have one, you need one! And they’re really inexpensive; I bought mine on ebay for 1.19!

Using my Crop-a-Dile, I set three eyelets and tied some embroidery floss through the openings, knotting the ends on the front.

Overall, I’m pleased with this all-occasion card so I’ll package it up in a see-thru envie and stick it in my card stash. I’m thinkin’ that this image can be used for Spring, Easter, birthday, or thinking about you, cards. Maybe not so much for a 'Congrats, You’re Expecting' card though …

Ingredients:

~White Card Stock: Xerox 110#
~Textured Card Stock: Bazzill Basics
~Base Card Stock: Stampin’ Up!
~Stamp: Bird Plate (Tin Can Mail / Inkadinkado)
~Ink: Palette Hybrid (Burnt Umber)
~Adhesives: Tape runner (Tombow Mono); Dimensionals (All Night Media)
~Accessories: Eyelets (Unknown; found in Mt. Eyelet)
~Fiber: Embroidery Floss (DMC)
~Tools: Paper Distresser (Heidi Swapp); Crop-a-Dile (We R Memory Keepers)

I’ve received several questions from visitors and I think it’s time to address that. So, if you’ve emailed me or posted a question in the comments, check back tomorrow as I’ll be tackling a couple of them here.

On Friday, I’ll post some blog candy you’ll have a chance to win simply by leaving a comment.

Thanks so much for sharing your day with me!

~Hugs, Deb

{PS} If you're interested in trying out the Xerox 110# card stock I'm so in love with, visit my ebay store. I have an auction for 25 sheets ... the high bid right now is .99! Check it out here: Kewl Stuph and Funky Junque

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

15 Minute Project ... Pretties in Less Than 1/4 of an Hour

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I’m not called the Queen of the 15 Minute Project for nothing!

Today’s no-frill's prettie is just about as minimalist as it gets! To be honest with you, “quick” is just a bonus because I really love this look: simple and clean … some might even say Spartan ... I wouldn't, but some would!

This super-quick-to-CASE card was created using my new favorite white card stock, some scraps of black and red card stock, a leftover bit of 5/8” ribbon, two rubber stamped images, and a couple of markers.

I stamped my focal image on Xerox 110# with Palette Hybrid ink, then colored with a Copic (R37) marker and a black Zig Writer marker.

Using the ‘Bug,’ I cut a scrap of Raven card stock with a Nestabilities die from the Large Classic Square set. Using Pomegranate, I cut a scallop using a die from the Nestabilities Large Scallop Square set.

I adhered my ribbon using double-sided tape and mounted the matted stack in the center using dimensionals.

Finally, I stamped my sentiment using Palette ink … all with time to spare!

Ingredients:

~White Card Stock: Xerox 110#
~Textured Card Stock: ‘Raven’ and ‘Pomegranate’ (Bazzill Basics)
~Image Stamp: Double D
~Sentiment Stamp: “Words of Wisdom” collection (Dawn Houser for Inkadinkado)
~Ink: Palette Hybrid, ‘Noir’ (Stewart Superior)
~Color Medium: Copic Marker (R37); Zig Writer (Kuretake)
~Adhesives: Tape Runner (Tombow Mono); Dimensionals (All Night Media)
~Ribbon: Reverse side of Black & White Floral, Arctic Antics (Michaels)
~Tools: Cuttlebug Die Cut Machine (Provo Craft); Nestabilities Dies (Spellbinders); Scor-It Board (Hammonds)

Thanks for visiting!

*PS: Sorry 'bout the crummy photo ... I had to use a dark background so that you could actually see the card ... all the other colors I tried looked even worse ... sooo, I went with black ... I don't like black backgrounds.

*ETA* Hey! I just noticed that the blog counter here has gone over 1,000 visitors! Wowsa, I thought that would take months ... maybe even years! Thank you!

In honor of that milestone, I’m putting together some fun blog candy to give away!!

Because people work, have families, and generally lead busy lives, I thought it would be fair for everyone if the drawing ran over a weekend. Look for the give-away in the next few days, with a drawing on Sunday!

~Hugs!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ryan's Birthday Card ... And a "Tear it Up" Challenge Entry

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As I was making this card (click on image for a closer look) for my 5-year-old nephew’s birthday, I realized that I’d torn my paper. Seriously, nothing get’s by me!

Anyway, the tearing on this card now qualifies it for Sharon's "Tear it Up" blog challenge.

What with all the cutting and coloring though, it sure doesn't qualify for a "15 Minute Project!"

This 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" top-folded card was created using my new favorite card stock: Xerox 110# in white. The frog image(s) were also stamped on this awesome card stock.

The stamp set I used here, “Frog” … (clever, no?), which is probably 128 years old, is actually comprised of three separate stamps: the head, the torso, one leg and one arm. I stamped the legs and arms twice (good with math, too), with black Palette Hybrid ink, and then colored all of the froggy body parts with Copic markers.

I added designer paper to my card stock base, tearing the top edge of the solid color. I mounted a black frame hanger using a brad on the bottom right side of the DP and adhered the mat to my card stock with my tape runner.

This is one of my first attempts (okay, I lied ... it IS my first attempt), to color an entire image with Copic’s and I’ll be the first to admit it’s not as good as it could be. There is a huge learning curve with these alcohol-based markers and those in the know say that the key to success is practice ... and blending. I’ve got a long way to go but I’d say that this rates as a ‘fair’ beginning. FYI: I added a spot of white ink to the eyes using a Signo gel pen.

Once I was resigned to happy with my coloring, I cut out all six images and pieced the frog together using brads. I left the front froggy arms and legs unattached to the card so that they are moveable; I mounted the torso, the head, and the back arms and legs to my card using dimensionals, so those parts aren’t moving anywhere!

Next, I stamped my ‘balloon’ using Palette Hybrid ink on Xerox card stock using a dotted circle border stamp; I used the same ink to stamp the sentiment inside the balloon. I cut out the balloon using my Nestabilities die: the next-to-the-smallest circle from the Large Classic Circle set.

Using a hand-held 1/16” punch, I punched a hole in one of the dots and tied embroidery floss through the hole, then across the body of the frog, and secured it by tying the thread around the froggy’s wrist.

Finally, I added a sentiment sticker/rub-on to the card and tied a bit of orange ribbon on the frame hanger.

Ingredients:

~White Card Stock: Xerox 110#
~Designer Paper: Unknown, packaging removed for storage purposes, (I want to say Amy Butler. So I will, “Amy Butler.”)
~Stamps: ‘Frog’ (Cow Town);
Sentiment, “Mixed Messages” collection (Nichole Heady for Papertrey Ink
~Ink: Palette Hybrid, “Noir” and “Orangerie” (Stewart Superior); White Gel Pen (Signo)
~Ribbon: Offray
~Adhesive: Tape Runner (Tombow Mono); Dimensionals (All Night Media)
~Accessories: Black brads (from Mt. Brad); Embroidery Floss (DMC); Frame Hanger (on the bottom of Mt. Brad); Sticker/Rub-on (Unknown, freebie from a paper-crafting company offer; thank you United States Postal Service and unknown paper-crafting company)
~Tools: Cuttlebug Die-Cutting Machine (Provo Craft); Nestabilities Die (Spellbinder’s)

So, hugs & kisses & birthday wishes, Ryan, … and I hope you’re not reading this!

PS: I’m nearing 1,000 hits ~ yay for me! To thank you, I’ll be putting together a nice packie of blog candy, the winner to be chosen by random drawing from #’d comment posts; yay for you!

Details and pix to follow the day we hit 1K visitors, okeedokee?!?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

15 Minute Project ... for a "Tear it Up" Challenge

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This side-folder 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card was created for Sharon's "Tear it Up" blog challenge. Yes, it IS a 15 Minute project! (PS: Click on the photo for a closer look.)

The card base is Bazzill card stock; I used digital scrapbook paper in a grungy heart theme for my patterned paper. I applied a length of 3/8" wide burgundy grosgrain ribbon across the middle of the card, adhering with double-sided adhesive.

I created the focal point with Maya Road felt flowers, birds, and a branch ... and tore the bottom edge. Just a note: if you want the white core of the paper to show when you tear, tear toward yourself; if you don't want it to show, tear away from yourself.

Tiny gemstones were applied on the flowers adhered to the birds; I used tiny, handmade red flowers for the centers of the flowers along the branch.

Using Palette hybrid ink in 'Noir,' I stamped both sentiments on the digital paper. I used my Word Window punch to cut out the bottom sentiment and matted it with a piece of matching ribbon.

I adhered the focal point mat on the card base using dimensionals ... and that's it!

Ingredients:

~Textured Card Stock: Pomegranate (Bazzill Basics)
~Patterned Paper: Digitally created using photo editing software
~Stamps: "Love" sentiment 'Words of Wisdom' by Dawn Houser (Michaels)
"you brighten my day" sentiment (Verve Visual)
~Ink: Palette Hybrid, 'Noir' (Stewart Superior)
~Felt Elements: Maya Road
~Ribbon: "Go with the Grain" (Michaels)
~Accessories: Creative Candy (A-muse); Handmade flowers: (JoLee's Boutique)
~Adhesive: Tape runner (Tombow Mono); Dimensionals (Therm O Web)
~Tools: Word Window punch (Stampin' Up!); Corner Rounder punch (Carl's); Personal computer

Thanks for visiting today!

"Go Giants!!!!"

Friday, January 18, 2008

"Inspiration Basket" ... A Fast, Fun Way to Organize Your Themed Goodies

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Finally! As promised/threatened, here's my portable Valentine's Day "Inspiration Basket" ...



The basis for this idea came from the creative genius of the very talented Michelle Wooderson. I just loved her concept and tweaked it a bit for those of us who don't have enough space to devote an entire section of our studio, no matter how small, to a rotating theme.

I know that many of us craft at the kitchen or dining room table, on a folding table in the living room or bedroom, or some other little nook somewhere. One of my crafty friends tells me that she crafts in her car!!

My portable 'Inspiration Basket' was created using a large, shallow grapevine basket with a handle. I simply gathered my Valentine's Day/red/pink/heart/and love-themed goodies and corralled them all in this over-sized basket as shown:



Now, when I'm working on a Valentine's Day project, I need only sort through my basket to find the perfect embellishment, ribbon, or rubber stamp ... I'm not wasting time plowing through my entire studio looking for red glass beads today and pink embossing powder tomorrow.

When Valentine's Day has come and gone, put all of your Inspiration Basket goodies away at once and refill the basket with the goodies you'll need and want to use for your next upcoming event ... be it a late winter wedding, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, whatever!

Kewl, huh ~~ thanks, Michelle!!

And thank you for visiting ... have a great weekend!!

~Hugs, Deb

PS: Sorry about the less-than-stellar photographs; this basket is huge and hard to capture in just one image.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hey Boys & Girls, how kewl is this ...

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Suzy from Paper Monkey sent me a note last night telling me that she'd named Paper, Ink, Scissors & Stamps her "Blog of the Week!" Wowsa!

And lookie the pretty Award-thingie she gave me:



Since I'm a huge fan of Suzy's, I'm feelin' especially honored by this kewl Award!

Be sure to visit Paper Monkey and see Suzy's simply amazing artwork and her yummy recipes; you'll be adding her to your favorites quick-as-a-wink!

Thanks, Suzy; you rock!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

If it's Not One Thing, it's Your Mother ...

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Just kiddin' M-i-L!

If you're following along here, my more-advanced-than-me camera refused to cooperate and went into some kinda camera snit yesterday. The good news is that today the camera and I have worked out our differences and we're BFF's again.

Unfortunately, today it's Photobucket.com that has refused to play nice. Sooooo, even though I can take photos, I can't upload any of 'em to my image host. I've written to the nice people at Photobucket but I haven't heard back and I suspect I'm not gonna ... at least not tonight.

So, all that's going on here is some techno-frustration.

But otherwise, life is a blissful dream, smothered in chocolate kisses ...

I'll try again tomorrow and thanks for staying with me even when I have nothing to say* and no projects to show you!

*If you know me, you know THAT'S a lie ...

**Update: Further techno-developments indicate that yes, everything IS my fault ... now I'm getting Blogger error messages and don't know if I can even get this posted.

Say, it's not too early to go to bed, pull the covers over my head and hide, is it?

~Hugs!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

15 Minute Project ... Pretties in Less Than 1/4 of an Hour

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I'm sorry, I know I promised that I would post my 'Inspiration Basket' today, but my camera and I had a falling out ... now it's sulking in the corner and not working properly. So, I decided to show you this card instead:



And in my world, a cupcake beats a grapevine basket any day!

This card was created on white Image Plus 110 lb card stock ... have I mentioned that I love this card stock?

I doodled on the edges of the card with my black Precision Pen; frankly, it looks like chicken scrawl to me but when I see anyone else's doodles, I love it ... go figger. Even though I hate my own doodling, I forced myself to use it anyway ... a girl has to be tough with herself sometimes!

I'm really loving digital paper these days so I used two sheets of digital patterned paper, ticket corner punched the corners, matted them and adhered them to my card base.

I used a horizontal slit punch to add the pink grosgrain ribbon and then I decided I didn't like the look ... so I covered up my ribbon faux pas with two, bright fuchsia grosgrain ribbon bows. Not sure I'm lovin' this but sooner or later it'll grow on me.

I stamped my cupcake on a scrap of white card stock then ran it through the Cuttlebug with a Large Square Scallop Nestie. I stamped the cupcake again on pink, green, and fuchsia digital papers, then pieced the image together.

I used a Stardust clear glitter pen to highlight all the 'sprinkles' on the cupcake. You really need to click on the photo (a new window will open), to see all of the sparkly sprinkles! I also dotted each scallop with a bit of pink glitter pen.

Finally, I used a Copic marker (W1) to create a shadow around the cupcake and mounted the scalloped piece to the card using dimensionals. Easy, quick, and delicious!

Ingredients:

~Card Stock: Image Plus
~Patterned Paper: Digitally created with photo editing software
~Stamp: Michaels (Studio G)
~Ink: Palette Hybrid, 'Noir' (Stewart Superior)
~Color Medium: Glitter pens (Sakura); Black Precision pen (American Crafts); Marker (Copic)
~Ribbon: Pink and fuschia grosgrain (May Arts)
~Adhesive: Tape runner (Tombow Mono); Dimensionals (All Night Media)
~Tools: Cuttlebug Die-Cut machine (Provo Craft); Nestabilities Large Scallop square (Spellbinder); Horizontal slot punch and ticket corner punch (Stampin' Up)

If my technologically superior camera decides to cooperate with me, I'll get the 'Basket' photographed tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 14, 2008

15 Minute Project ... for a "Tall and Thin" Challenge

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Today I'm posting the second 'Tall and Thin' card I created for Sharon's blog challenge. LOL, when I get an idea or a concept in my head, I can't let it go!

This super-fast card was created on Bazzill textured card stock with designer papers from Daisy D's discontinued "Gingham Rose" collection. Tell me, why is it that all the great designer papers are retired?!?

I used an embossed metal frame for my focal point, and stamped the dot border, the sentiment, and the little curlicue with Memories Chalks-A-Lot ink on Bazzill Kraft card stock. After stamping, I punched the whole thing out with a square punch and adhered the stamped image to the metal frame with my tape runner. I then mounted the frame on the card with dimensionals ... I'll be honest, more than just a few!

Finally, I cut two flowers and some leaves from another sheet of paper from this collection and mounted them on the corners of the frame using dimensionals; I really love the way all the shadows create interest on this very simple card.

I finished this card so quickly that I had time to clean my stamps before the timer went off ... talk about making a fast card!

Ingredients:

~Textured Card Stock: Bazzill Basics (Pomegranate)
~Designer Paper: Gingham Rose Collection (Daisy D's)
~Stamps: Dot Frame (Borders & Corners Monogram Edition); Sentiment (Limitless Labels); and, Curlicue (Faux Ribbon): All stamps by Nichole Heady for Papertrey Ink
~Ink: Memories Chalks-A-Lot (Stewart Superior)
~Adhesive: Tape Runner (Tombow Mono); Dimensionals (All Night Media)
~Tools: Super Giant Square Punch (McGill )
~Accessories: Embossed Metal Frame (Pressed Petals)

Tomorrow, I plan on showing you my 'Inspiration Basket' ... intrigued?!?

Thanks so much for visiting!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

15 Minute Project ... Valentine's Day Pretties in Less Than 1/4 of an Hour

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This sweet little Valentine's Day project can be completed in just 15 minutes with a scrap of patterned paper and a little double-side tape. Oh, and this is important (*wink), a corked vial.

These 1.25 ounce vials have been in my stash forever so I don't recall where I purchased them. A quick Google search found this site: Pilot Vials. I'd recommend vials number PL3 or PL4. These come with the cork top and work out to just .33 and .36 each! Perhaps you know of a better source; if so, let me know so I can post it here.

Next, cut your patterned paper into a strip; my strip is 1 3/4" wide. I can't give you an exact measurement for the length of your strip as you might not end up with this exact vial. Wrap a scrap piece of paper around the circumference of your vial and mark where the ends meet. You can fine tune your cut from there.

If you choose to use a striped paper as I did, remember to match up your stripes. If you use a random design, it doesn't matter.

Because this project was created for show & tell, I didn't adhere the paper to the vial; I simply matched my stripes and taped the ends together using invisible tape. The patterned paper will now slip on and off the vial with ease and I can use the vial in another project.

It's your choice as to adhering your paper sleeve permanently or not. If you chose to permanently adhere your paper, I'd recommend a clear, double-sided, adhesive such as Thermo-Web or Tacky brand ... 1/8" or 1/4" wide.

Using my Tag Maker, I created a heart-shaped tag using matching paper. You can either stamp a greeting or a name on your tag, or you can use a pen as I did. Glitter, glaze, or "Souffle" pens would be fun here, too.

Set an eyelet in the top of the heart and thread on some thin ribbon; I used a 1/8" ribbon in pale pink satin. Then, simply tie your ribbon around the neck of the vial. I trimmed off the ends of my ribbon but you might choose to keep the extra length and create a bow. Bows don't like me so I didn't even try here.

For the top, I punched a circle from matching paper using a 1" circle punch. Again, the exact size of your circle will depend on the diameter of your cork. If you don't have the exact size circle punch you need, you can also use a compass, a Fiskars circle cutter, or the Coluzzel.


If you don't have any of these tools, tie some string to a straight pin and stick it (not too deep!), into the center of the cork. Stretch the string out to the edge of the cork and mark your string. Now, removed the pin, place it on the back side of your patterned paper and hold a pencil at your mark. Push your pencil completely around the pin until you've created a closed circle and cut out.

For the time being, I filled my vial with glass beads. Those of you who have control over your chocolate addiction can go ahead and fill your completed vial with pink and red M & M's. I can personally attest to the fact that the Valentine's Day mix is now available in grocery stores.

If you're planning on gifting your Valentine's Day vial, you might want to cut a second circle from your paper to fit the the bottom of your vial. Sign and date your made-from-the-heart creation and adhere to the bottom of the vial.

These cute little vials work up super fast, cost next to nothing to make, and will hold a surprising number of M & M's! They make perfect gifts for your co-workers, your mail carrier, your hair stylist, manicurist, the paper person ... anyone who you'd like to present with a little gift without spending a lot.

I'd love to see what you come up with, so send me a photo of your completed project and I'll post it here for all of us to oooh-and-ahhhh over!

Ingredients:

Bottle: Corked Glass Vial holding at least 1.25 ounces
Patterned Paper: Created digitally in photo editing software
Stamps: None
Ink: Precision Pen (American Crafts)
Ribbon: 1/8" wide (Darice)
Accessories: Pink eyelet (Unknown ... found in my mini-mountain of eyelets); Small heart-shaped tag rim (Making Memories)
Tools: 1" paper punch (Emagination); Tag Maker (Making Memories)

Thanks for visiting today!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

15 Minute Project ... for a "Tall and Thin" Challenge

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This side-folded, 4 1/4" x 7 1/2" card was created for Sharon's "Tall and Thin" blog challenge. And yes, it's a 15 Minute Project, too! For a closer look, click on the image.

I created the card using white Image Plus card stock and adhered card stock weight designer papers by 'My Mind's Eye.' I wrapped a length of 1/4" brown grosgrain ribbon around the seam and adhered the ends behind the designer card stock.

I stamped my image on a scrap of Image Plus card stock with Palette Hybrid ink in 'Burnt Umber.' Next, I colored my image with Prismacolor 'Premier' pencils, blending with Gamsol and a stump.

Then, I mounted my stamped image using dimensionals on a coordinating piece of designer card stock cut and embossed with the Nestabilities Large Classic rectangle die. I also cut a second rectangle, this time with a scalloped edged using a third color from this collection using a die from the Nestabilities Large Scallop rectangle set.

The entire mat was then mounted to the card base using more dimensionals so the card has a bit of depth; I love seeing shadows on cards!

Finally, I added five Dew Drops just below my stamped image using mini glue dots. And then my timer went off and I was done!

Ingredients:

White Card stock: Image Plus
Designer Paper: The 'Bohemia' collection (My Mind's Eye)
Stamp: Hero Arts
Ink: Palette Hybrid in Burnt Umber (Stewart Superior)
Color Medium: Prismacolor Premier pencils (Sanford)
Ribbon: Brown grosgrain (Offray)
Adhesives: Tape Runner (Tombow Mono); Mini-Pop Dots (All Night Media); Mini Glue Dots: (Glue Dots)
Accessories: Dew Drops 'Men's' collection (The Robin's Nest)
Tools: Cuttlebug Die Cutting Machine (Provo Craft); Nestabilities Dies (Spellbinder); Gamsol OMS (Gamblin); Blending stump (Dick Blick)

Tomorrow I'll be showing you the cutest Valentine's Day gift project ... yes, of course it's a 15 Minute Project!

Thanks for visiting today and have a relaxing and creative weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

15 Minute Project ... Pretties in Less Than 1/4 of an Hour

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This card was r-e-a-l-l-y hard to photograph; I wanted you to be able to see the embossing but the glare from the heart-shaped tag was an issue, soooo I apologize that this photo isn't all that great.

This 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" side-folded card was created on Bazzill Basics black textured card stock. I folded the lower right edge up, scored with a bone folder, and applied some patterned paper and a silver heart brad.

I used my Cuttlebug "Heart Blocks" embossing folder to create the side panel; I ran the other half back through the machine with the Nestabilities Large Scalloped Circle to cut my scalloped circle and used pink grosgrain ribbon to cover the seam.

I'm continuing to hoard all my designer paper, (don't ask me what I'm saving it all for ... oh wait, never mind, you're a paper hoarder too, aren't you?!?), so I'm again using digital papers on the folded edge and on the tag.

The tag was created with a Making Memories heart-shaped tag rim, and mounted to the scalloped circle with dimensionals. Both were mounted on a round scrap of black card stock.

The sentiment was stamped on the tag with Palette hybrid, 'Noir.'

Ingredients:
White Card Stock: Image Plus
Black Card Stock: 'Raven' (Bazzill Basics)
Patterned Paper: Created with digital photo editing software
Stamp: Rubber Soul
Ink: Palette Hybrid, 'Noir' (Stewart Superior)
Accessories: Heart-shaped tag (Making Memories); Heart-shaped brad (Unknown ... found in my mountain of brads); Grosgrain ribbon (May Arts)
Tools: Cuttlebug die cutting machine, Cuttlebug A-2 Embossing Folder (Provo Craft); Nestabilities Dies (Spellbinder); Tag Maker (Making Memories)

This very simple design whipped up super-fast; it took four times as long to photograph as it did to create it! Overall, though, I'm pretty happy with this card, so this one's goin' in to my Valentine's Day stash.

I'm working on a super-easy, super-cute project for Valentine's Day gift-giving! Hopefully, I'll have that ready to show you some time this weekend.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

15 Minute Card Project ... Pretties in Less Than 1/4 of an Hour

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I just love Valentine's Day ... and not just for the chocolate! I really enjoy creating Valentine's Day cards and it's fun to have an opportunity to use some of my favorite stamps. Like this one.

This 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" card was super-simple to create using just one rubber stamp, a couple of inexpensive brads, distressed card stock, and jute.

The base of the card is Bazzill Kraft card stock. I stamped my image on Image Plus white card stock with chalk ink and matted the image on chocolate brown Bazzill textured card stock.

I distressed the textured card stock with a Heidi Swapp paper distresser ... a bargain at only $1.19!

I tied natural jute around the base of the stamped card stock and added two antique copper corner brads on the top corners. I clipped off the prongs with a wire cutting tool and glued the photo corners directly to my project; these larger brads have a tendency to slip around and gluing them down keeps them securely in place.

Finally, I mounted the matted stack on my card stock base using dimensionals. And that's it!

Ingredients:
Card stock: Bazzill Kraft; Chocolate Brown Bazzill Corduroy Textured card stock; and, Image Plus 110 lb. card stock in white
Stamp: Club Scrap
Ink: Memories Chalks-a-Lot! (Stewart Superior)
Adhesives: Mini Pop Dots (All Night Media); Crafter's Pick The Ultimate (Api); Tape Runner (Tombow Mono)
Tools: Paper Distresser (Heidi Swapp); Wire Cutter (Plato)
Accessories: Antique Copper corner brads (Oriental Trading); Natural jute (The Home Depot)

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

15 Minute Card Project ... Pretties in Less Than 1/4 of an Hour

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I received the sweetest email yesterday from Gayle, who wrote, "I love your card projects and the simplicity and clean lines, both of which has inspired me to create my own greeting cards. I'm on a super-tight budget and I can't afford to go out and spend a lot on rubber stamps. Do you have any tips or suggestions for me?"

Yes, I do Gayle! Why not start your card making journey without purchasing any rubber stamps?

Using rub-on sentiments can virtually eliminate your need for rubber stamps (it hasn't done anything to stop my 'want,' though ...*wink). Rub-on's are super easy to use, take up next to no storage space, and are very affordable. A project like this is a terrific way to start creating cards without investing huge sums of money in supplies.

Card stock is very inexpensive, as is chipboard, and digital patterned paper can be easily created in your photo editing software. If you'd rather not create your own paper, digital scrapbook sites can be found all over the Internet offering paper and embellishments for free or next-to-nothing.

Today's 15 Minute Project was made without rubber stamps; in fact, the only tools I used were punches.

This 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" all occasion card was created on Bazzill textured card stock. I punched circles out of digital patterned paper, and adhered them around the edges of the card, trimming off the overhang.

Next, I covered a chipboard bird in a coordinating digital paper. His head feathers were created with a small spiral punch, and I used a spiral border punch to create the curly black squiggles. I applied my rub-on, and called it done!

And not one rubber stamp was harmed (or used), in the process!

Hope this helps Gayle, and thanks for asking; now, on to the Ingredients:

Card stock: Textured (Bazzill Basics)
Patterned Paper: Digitally created using photo editing software
Stamps: None
Ink: None
Chipboard: (Unknown ... for storage purposes I always remove the packaging)
Rub-on: Memory Rub-On's, "Thinking of You" collection, (Provo Craft)
Tools: Spiral Punch (EK Success); Border Spiral Punch (All Nite Media)
Accessories: Black brad (Unknown ... found in my mountain of brads)
I'm always happy to answer any question you might have about projects, materials, or techniques. While I might not know the answer to every question all the time, I DO know where to go* to find it!

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 7, 2008

"Long and Low" ... a Challenging Card Challenge

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This 4" x 8 1/2" card was created for Sharon's 'Long and Low' blog challenge.

This really was challenging for me as I usually don't make cards in this orientation ... I discovered that all that blank space, just sitting there staring at me, was a bit intimidating.

The base of the card is Image Plus card stock; I used digital patterned paper in place of my usual designer paper. I added a length of 3/8" olive green grosgrain ribbon along the seam using double-sided adhesive; I also looped a bit behind the chipboard heart.

Next, I painted a chipboard heart with acrylic paint and, when dry, added two Maya Road velvet flowers mounted on a dimensional. I used a raspberry colored brad for the flower's center and added three more to the seam ribbon.

Finally, I stamped my sentiment and the tiny brackets with chalk ink.

I didn't start out intending to create a Valentine's Day card but this certainly could be used as one!

And yes, I know that it's always good to move out of your comfort zone but I'm still not sure how I feel about this card. I love the color combination but I still feel like I should be adding something. Oh well, maybe less IS more.

Thanks for visiting today!

Ingredients:
Card stock: Image Plus
Patterned Paper: Digitally created using photo editing software
Acrylic Stamps: 'Faux Ribbon' and 'My Punny Valentine Add-On' collections (Nichole Heady for Papertrey Ink)
Color Medium: Memories Chalk-a-Lots! ink in Black Raspberry (Stewart Superior); Craft Smart Acrylic Paint in Cherry Cobbler (Plaid)
Ribbon: Olive grosgrain (May Arts)
Brads: Raspberry (American Crafts)
Velvet Flowers: 'Air' Velvet Collection (Maya Road)
Chipboard: Unknown (for storage purposes, I always remove the packaging)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Clean and Simple but Definitely NOT a Fifteen Minute Project

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I hope you're enjoying a relaxing and creative weekend!

This morning I awoke knowing I was gonna have a full-on cold by noon. With that knowledge came an uncontrollable urge to color!

This must be some kind of weird throw-back to my childhood. When I was kept home from school, I remember spending most of the day coloring with crayons. Either that, or I'm having some kind of strange regression.

It was tough to choose (*wink*), but I decided against the Crayola's and went with colored pencils.

I stamped my image in black with Palette Hybrid ink on Image Plus card stock. The card base is Bazzill Basics textured card stock and the stamped image is matted on Bazzill Basics Trio of Trios, Aspen, from the Pier Collection.

Which causes me to ask this question: Does anyone know what an Aspen, a tree, (or a town in Colorado), have to do with piers? Unless piers are constructed using aspen wood ... ? But aren't aspens skinny trees? Skinny wood wouldn't make for a big old pier, would it? See, this is what happens when I get a head cold ... I just go off in all directions; sorry!

Back to the card: I colored the stamped image with Prismacolor pencils, blending with Gamsol and a stump. In my humble opinion, these pencils are THE best for coloring ... but even great pencils need a good surface to work their magic on. I use Image Plus 110 lb. white card stock; I always get a nice result with this card stock but if you have a great paper to recommend, I'm all ears. Please leave your recommendation in the comments and I'll definitely give your favorite a try!

Finally, I punched out the tab with a round tab punch, added a black frame hanger, a black brad, and tied a matching ribbon on the hanger. Putting it all together took less than fifteen minutes but the coloring; well, that went a bit over that!

Ingredients:

~Card Stock: Bazzill Basics

~White Card Stock: Image Plus

~ Stamp: Stampa Rosa

~ Ink: Palette Hybrid, "Noir"

~ Ribbon: Offray

~ Color Medium: Prismacolor Premier Pencils (Sanford)

~ Accessories: Black frame hanger (unknown - found in a mountain of brads); black brad (ditto); Photo corners: (Pioneer)

~ Tools: Gamsol (Gamblin); Blending stump (Dick Blick); Round tab punch (Stampin' Up!)

Now it's time to try and kill my cold with alcohol ... ooops, I mean orange juice. Thanks so much for dropping by!

~Hugs

Friday, January 4, 2008

15 Minute Card Project ... Pretties in Less than 1/4 of an Hour

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I really needed to get going on my holiday thank-you cards and today I finally got some finished.

This 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" thank you card whipped up super-fast; no stamping, no sewing, no coloring.

I love using white, pink and black in my projects ... I really like the way this color combination always looks so fresh, clean, and bright.

The base of the card is Bazzill corduroy textured card stock in a soft pink. I adhered a black and white floral patterned ribbon to the card with double-sided tape.

I added a square black brad to the center of my paper flowers and mounted them on white card stock cut and embossed with a Nestabilities Large Classic circle die. I also cut a scalloped circle from both white and black cardstock using a die from the Nestabilities Large Scallop circle set.

I slightly offset the black and white scalloped circles and adhered them to my card. For some reason, the offset scalloped circles reminds me of a cookie ... or no, wait, I WANT a cookie! Yes, that's probably it.

Finally, I used a rub-on from Provo Craft for my sentiment. And that's all, folks!

Ingredients:

Cardstock: Bazzill Corduroy textured card stock in Pink, Image Plus white cardstock, Bazzill textured card stock in Raven
Stamps: None
Ribbon: Arctic Antics, Michaels
Tools: Nestabilities dies from Spellbinder, Cuttlebug Die Cut machine from Provo Craft
Embellishments: Black brad from HOTP; Memory Rub-on's from Provo Craft, "Thinking of You" collection, Paper Flowers (unknown)

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

15 Minute Card Project ... Pretties in Less Than 1/4 of an Hour

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Yes, I know, Christmas is over and practically no one is interested in Christmas cards now. 'Cept for me; I could look at Christmas card designs every day!

This 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" holiday card is quick to make and can be used to send joy (and when I say joy, I mean cash), to someone all winter long.

The base is Bazzill card stock; the three circles are punched from scraps of the same card stock. The snowflakes are stamped in white on Bazzill Kraft card stock; the sentiment was over-stamped with olive green Staz-on. I used my Crop-A-Dial to set the metal snowflake eyelets.

Finally, I used my paper piercer to punch dozens of itty-bitty, teeny-weeny holes on the edges of the stamped Kraft card stock. The sentiment was mounted on the card with dimensionals. Easy peasy and ready in less than fifteen minutes!

This card is goin' into my stash ... I'm thinking that it would be nice for a winter wedding, a christening, or a bridal shower ... but what do I know.

Ingredients:

Cardstock: Bazzill "Monochromatic" Green, Kraft
Stamps: All stamps by Nichole Heady, Papertrey Ink, "Snowflake Serenade" collection
Ink: White ink: 'New Canvas' Palette Hybrid; Olive green ink: Staz-On
Tools: 1" circle punch, (McGill); paper piercer, (Making Memories); Crop-A-Dial, (We R Memory Keepers); snowflake eyelets (unknown)

As threatened, I'll be posting that ugly pink and green Valentine's Day card soon!

Stay warm* and thanks for droppin' by today!

*FYI: It is freezin' down here!!!! It's gray and damp here today and the temperature is about 55 degrees with a wind-chill making it feel like it's about 45 degrees. Yes, I hear you laffing and pointing at me but I'm not used to being cold! I'll stop whining now ...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Revelation #1

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So, everywhere I go, and I do mean everywhere, I see butterflies ... in every book I read, I find references to butterflies; every art project I begin, I see butterflies; every errand I run, there they are again: butterflies. Every movie I force myself to sit though, yup: butterflies.

They're in my garden, my mailbox, the screened (!) pool enclosure, the garage. Sometimes, and I'd really like to know how, I find 'em flitting around inside my locked car! I really mean it when I say that I see butterflies everywhere.

^This is a collage I created years ago, (I've greatly improved since then~well, I like to think so), on a vintage dictionary page. Note the page I've chosen for my masterpiece: "enigma." Wow, deep, huh? And, oh-so-subtle. But wait, what's that? Why looky there: it's a butterfly!

Here's a photo taken in my front yard: I swear to you, that seedling Ixora (a tropical bush a/k/a 'Jungle Flame,' 'Flame of the Woods,' and, my favorite 'cuz it has a nice jingle-ring to it, 'Jungle Geranium'), plant was in the ground less than ten minutes when:
















Click on the photo and you'll be able to see it: a butterfly. To wit, a Monarch butterfly. And if you know anything about Monarch butterflies you know that they live, eat, sleep, procreate, and die on Milkweed plants. Milkweed is their thing; their one and only thing. They don't like Ixora plants; they like Milkweed. Apparently this particular Monarch didn't know that. Unless, of course, he/she/it was trying to tell me something.

I am in possession of approximately 21,809 photographs of butterflies that I've taken as they've intersected my life. Obviously, many thousands of my butterfly encounters have come and gone without being photographed. I even have photos of butterflies who've landed ON me ... and stayed ... long enough to be photographed from every perspective.

Once, a particularly friendly butterfly had to be physically removed from me so I could get on with my life; this butterfly (it was a Monarch ... I see lots of Monarch's), stayed glued to my shoulder for hours ... those pix are floatin' around somewhere on my hard drive; I'll find 'em and post 'em if anyone has any interest in seeing them. (Anyone except you, Nappy. Tuff love, baby.)

Naturally, all of these butterflies everywhere I turn has prompted me to believe that butterflies have some secret, special meaning for me. Meanings that assuredly were shadowy, vague, but, oh yes, definitely significant ... possibly even life-altering. I'd assigned those poor 'lil butterflies a huge responsibility.

Well, the time has come to set the butterflies free.

Therefore, I give you New Year's Revelation #1:

Butterflies aren't tryin' to tell me a damn thing: there's just a LOT of butterflies out there.