Tuesday, July 31, 2012

3 for 1

Hi, everyone,

Another quick post. I have 3 cards inspired by this week's OWH sketch to share. (Boy, wouldn't it be nice if I could make 3 cards for every sketch!)

Card 1: An Encouraging Card for OWH

The first card is doing double duty since it also meets the encouragement theme in last Wednesday's Midweek Throwdown. I was pretty true to the sketch. (Shocking, I know!) My only change was putting the larger rectangle on the bottom.

Paper: We R Memory Keepers Down the Boardwalk; heat embossed sentiment in Distress Ink Black Soot; hand-drawn "stitching"; stash metallic "flowers"
Three points worth noting:
  • I stamped the sentiments in reverse order as they appear on the card -- using ghost images to go from light to darker to darkest.
  • In addition to heat embossing the last "smile", I heat embossed that rectangle's edges.
  • The color of the metallic flowers are much closer to the vertical strip's color than they appear. (Honest, they are!)

Card 2: A Birthday Card for Dad

I made similar decisions (ghosted and embossed sentiments, the placement of the larger rectangle on the bottom) to create this sketch-inspired birthday card for my dad. One additional change was using the vertical strip to create a candle. Another change was triple matting the last sentiment for some extra pizazz. :)

Card Base and Patterned Paper: DCWV Natural collection; cardstock from stash pile; heat embossing with Distress Ink

Card 3: An Any Hero Card

Aside from rotating the sketch for my pre-written Any Hero note, this card is actually true to the sketch! The paper selection came easily, as did the sentiment. But, I really struggled with what to do with the top portion of the darker blue rectangle. That "space" seemed lots bigger and emptier when the sketch was rotated.

We R Memory Keepers Red, White & Blue; Stamper's Best sentiment in Distress Ink stash Vintage Photo; stash: cardstock and ribbon

Parting Thoughts

I keep thinking this is going to be the week when things slow down at work. (Busy is good, crazy's a whole other matter!) So, I'm really glad I was able to get these 3 cards made and posted in time for the two OWH challenges. :)

As always, thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

Go World! Go Team USA!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

OWH Sketch #130

Hi everyone,

The card below is for last Sunday's OWH sketch. Better late than never. :)

Paper: We R Memory Keepers Red, White & Blue, Bazzill watermelon, silvery stash paper; star punches; rhinestones

Since I was designing for the front of a pre-written Any Hero card, I rotated the sketch to make a horizontal card. Other than that, I was pretty true to the sketch.
  •  For the top banner, I cut out 2-inch circles, that were then cut in half, since I didn't half quite the right sized scallop tool.
  • I punched stars through the red and blue patterned paper and placed watermelon cardstock underneath to form the bottom stars. 
  • Then I added a punched out silver star on top of the punched out star in the center. 
  • Finally, rhinestones were added to all 5 stars as a common, unifying element.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend and happy scrappin'!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CAS-ual Christmas Cards

Hi, everyone,

First of all, a huge thanks to everybody who took part in the OWH's Midweek Throwdown color wheel challenge. Your cards were fabulous. It was just great seeing the different color combinations. Who knows what Jan will have in store for us tomorrow?

CFC62: Back in Black

This week's Cas-ual Fridays Challenge is to make a card with a black base. For some reason, Christmas popped in my head. Shortly after, Glistening Boughs and A Seussian Christmas were born. :)

The bases for both cards are Bazzill black cardstock. Also, heat embossing was used on each. Oh, and the little star punch I picked up while shopping with a dear friend at Hobby Lobby last weekend was a must for both cards!

Card 1: Glistening Boughs

Bazzill cardstock; heat embossing with metallic powders; gel pen; mini hole and star punches

  • Because of the texture of the cardstock, the embossing was not as uniform as I had hoped. So, I embossed the gold tree twice. I decided to keep the silver trees a little "barer" -- so to speak -- using a silver gel pen to fill in each tree just a bit more.
  • A 3D glue dot was used to adhere the star.
  • Next, I added the circles in the corners to add a little interest and repeat the gold color.
  • Then, I added the gold border lines to frame the card and ground the trees. 
  • Helpful Hint: Dryer sheets aren't just for static clean anymore. A great tip from Spotted Canary is to rub a card base with a dryer sheet to prevent embossing powder from sticking where it's not suppose to stick!  :)
Finally, credit where credit's due. The inspiration for this card was a Pizazz It! Card Club creation. Such fond, bittersweet memories...  

Card 2: A Seussian Christmas

You all know how it is when you come up with a card that you just love -- really LOVE. Well, A Seussian Christmas is one of those cards for me. I just adore this card!

Papers: Bazzill, American Crafts Christmas collection; heat embossing with clear powder; star and hole punches

The idea for this card was a twist on a card I made for my dad a couple of years ago.

  • Because of the black background, I decided to use the quirkier colors in the AC pack (a reddish brown for the trunk, lime green for the branches.)
  • The star and ornaments are from the cream color in the pack. To add a little shimmer, I heat embossed cream cardstock using clear powder and then punched out the shapes.
  • To pop the tree and draw even more attention to the star and ornaments, I matted the tree's base paper on a piece of the cream cardstock.
  • Since the tree was angled left, I angled the star and cream-matted paper to the right.

Parting Thoughts

Hoping to get to this week's Sunday sketch challenge later this week. Last week seems to have been just a brief respite in the crazy pace at work. Busy is good, but just a little less busy would be even better -- at least as far as my creative juices go. :)

Thanks for visiting and happy scrappin'!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

OWH Midweek Throwdown: Color Challenge

Hi, everyone,

When Jan asked me about doing a card or two for this week's Midweek Throwdown challenge, she said the challenge would be color-related -- and that I could choose the color(s). How cool is that!

After a little thought, I proposed a color wheel challenge. A few months ago, CAS-ual Fridays had a color wheel challenge that involved using complementary colors from the color wheel. I so loved the variety of colors of their posted cards that I suggested a color wheel challenge for this week's OWH Midweek Throwdown. 

For my sample cards, I chose to make cards featuring a Triadic combination, which consists of 3 colors that are equidistant from each other. (Other 3-color combinations include monochromatic, analogous, split analogous, and split complimentary.)  Once I chose to go with a Triadic combination, I knew exactly which paper collection I wanted to use -- Cosmo Cricket's Matilda collection featuring green, purple, and orange papers.

Cosmo Cricket Matilda collection and Ranger Distress Ink cardstock

Cosmo Cricket Matilda collection and Ranger Distress Ink cardstock

Last fall, the Stamp Simply Ribbon Store offered a wonderful package that included this Cosmo Cricket paper pad, some coordinating ribbons, and a set of black rhinestones. Not only was I really pleased with the quality of the purchased materials, I was  thrilled with the service I received. If you haven't already shopped with this wonderful vendor, I strongly recommend a visit to this online store!

One last note about these cards: OWH doesn't have a huge need/demand for Halloween cards. So, per Sandy's suggestion last year, I made some non-Halloween cards from this Halloween-inspired paper collection in hope of a little longer shelf life.  :)

Parting Thoughts

I can't wait to see the cards you create. I just know they are going to be wonderful!

As always, thanks for stopping by and happy scrappin'!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

OWH Sketch #129

Hi, everyone,

Two posts in one day. (Wow!) So, I'll make this a quick one.

Turns out it was a great day to scrap -- really overcast in the morning, hot in the afternoon, humid all day.

This week's Any Hero Card was inspired by OWH Sketch #129.
  • My one variation from the sketch was going with the same background for both the left and right sides. I loved Donna's monochromatic color variations on her sample cards. But, in the end, it just felt right for the background to be kraft with navy accents on both sides to really bring out the sentiment on this patriotic card.
  • The sentiment was heat embossed using Distress Ink and clear embossing powder. I just love how you can do that with the Distress Ink!
Paper: Bo Bunny Liberty, Ranger Core, Bazzill watermelon; Cuttlebug embossing folder; Distress Ink (Vintage Photo); Stickles, jute, garage sale brad

Parting Thought

Hope everyone has a great week!  Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

What a blessing to work for someone so generous!

Hi, everyone,

The title for this post is a quote from Sandy in a recent e-mail following the arrival of a donation from my employer. Sounds just like Sandy, huh?!

So, today I wanted to take a few minutes to express my gratitude to McGraw-Hill for its generous support of OWH and the many non-profits that are near and dear to its employees.

There are three specific ways in which McGraw-Hill has supported Operation Write Home these last two years.
  • In May 2011, McGraw-Hill sponsored a huge cardmaking event as part of its Global Volunteer Day community partnerships.
  • In December 2011, the company matched my 2012 donations to favorite non-profits.
  • For the last two years, the company has made a significant donation in the form of an employee grant in recognition of my volunteer work for OWH.

My sincerest thanks to Mr. McGraw and the folks in our corporate headquarters who head up the company's community partnership efforts.

Parting Thoughts

If corporate sponsorship, employee grants, and/or matching donations/contributions are options at your place of employment, it might well be worth looking into the details. While there have been some "I"s to dot and "T"s to cross, the time spent has resulted in four wonderful donations for OWH.

Thanks for reading this atypical post. Time to get back to the scrappin' portion of the day. :)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and happy scrappin'! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

'Tis the Season

Happy weekend, everyone,

Before I share today's card, I have to tell you hubby wasn't quite as impressed by the bang I got for my bucks with my jean pocket card as I was. Remember how I was so happy about the deal I'd gotten on the die cuts, the Core paper, and the brads? Well, hubby asked me about the cost of the tools I used -- actually the cost of all the supplies (Hmmm... Scotch tape gun, Martha Stewart scoring board, Fiskars rotary cutter, punches, embossing folders, embossing machine, embossing powders, Versamark and ink pads, heat gun, gel pens, scissors, ...) I have stashed in the Menopause Room (aka my craft room). Seems as though I'm supposed to include the cost of all these things when figuring the cost of a jean pocket card.

What a dear, silly man. I so adore him, but he just doesn't get it. Actually one of his most endearing qualities is that he is so supportive of my crafting endeavors  in spite of it all. Chances are this sounds like someone you know.  :) 

Now for today's card.

OWH MWT + CFC61 = Three Times as Bright

If you are visiting from CAS-ual Fridays,  you might be wondering why in the world there is a Christmas card posted for this week's challenge. Well, the answer to that question can be found at this week's Midweek Throwdown Challenge for Operation Write Home.

Bazzill Preppie paper; Cuttlebug Swiss Dot embossing folder; leaf punch; sentiment: ???

A few tricks/techniques employed and choices made when creating this card:
  •  Since this is a card for OWH, I used a white base. (Our troops may have only pencils for writing their notes homes.)
  • After embossing the strips, I used a gold gel pen to add a little extra sparkle. 
  • To make the flames, I heat embossed a small piece of purple paper using gold power. Then I punched out the flames using a small leaf punch.
  •  Ribbons were secured to the back of each strip using Scotch ATG tape.
  • The flames were attached using pop dots and the strips were attached using 3D glue dots, placing one dot on each card directly over the ribbon.
  • While I chose to place all three strips vertically, I purposely tilted the flames at slightly different angles.
  • I positioned the sentiment to be the last thing seen as the eyes move across the card from the tallest candle to the shortest candle, moving from left to right and top to bottom.
  • Finally, I considered putting something in the top right portion of the card. But, I decided against it because I thought anything else would compete with the candles.
This card came together pretty quickly. It seems like a good design for "mass production". So, I'm thinking this might be one of the designs I use to make my 2012 OWH Christmas cards. 

Parting Thoughts

Next post will be a shout-out to my employer for its generous support of non-profits.

Until then, thanks for stopping by and happy scrappin'!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Jean Scene

Hi, everyone,

This month's ODBD challenge is to make a card featuring "cool" colors, like blues and greens, and purples. This week's CAS-ual Fridays' challenge is to make a CAS card using text. And, I think the card below just might work for both challenges.

Core'dinations Vintage collection; Autumn Leaves die cut; garage sale brads; hand-drawn stitching; 3D glue dots

Actually more than just the brads came from a scrapbook garage sale. I picked up eight of the die cuts for about 6 cents each and two packs of Core paper for about twenty cents per sheet. Hmmm... Four cards from each sheet of paper equals one great deal for a few OWH cards!  [But, I'm thinking that I might put aside a couple die cuts to make similar cards for my nephew's 2013 birthday. :)  They're at an age where it's tough to make/find just the right card.]

I attached the paper to the card base with 3D dots. So, I covered the front of the card with Vintage Photo Distress Ink to prevent a plain white base from being visible at any angle.

Additional cards should be fairly easy to make because I traced the card bases and the paper using a template I made from corrugated cardstock.

Parting Thoughts

Just a quick post. Think that's about it for tonight.

Thanks for stopping by and happy scrappin'!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

OWH Challenge Cards

Hi, everyone,

I am so excited that I found time this weekend to make two OWH cards -- the first for the Midweek Throwdown and the second for today's sketch challenge.

Midweek Throwdown: A Happy Anniversary Love Card

Okay, I cheated a little bit on this one since I didn't have a Happy Anniversary stamp. But, I love the way the card turned out. I'd certainly be happy to receive it from hubby for our anniversary!

The base card, the chipboard heart embellishment, and the "Love You" and clock hand rub-on transfers came from Bo Bunny's Father Christmas card kit.

Bo Bunny Father Time paper and card making set; garage sale brad

OWH Sketch #128: An Any Hero Card

I cheated on this one, too. Shocking, I know! 

When I saw the sketch, I wanted to use the heart stamp from my new Sweet Stamp Shop God Bless America collection. When the stamped heart turned out a little larger than the sketch's heart embellishment, I thought about going with a few less hearts. But, I really liked the look of the 5 hearts. So, the sizing and spacing are a little different from the sketch, but the basic sketch is the same. [That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! :)]

Bo Bunny Liberty, Bazzill watermelon and admiral; Sweet Stamp Shop image and sentiment; embossing and heat embossing; garage sale brad

In addition to using my new stamp set, I also used my newest embossing folder -- Swiss Dot from Cuttlebug. Accentuating the dots with a gold gel pen was just the final touch this little card needed. I'm hoping one of our heroes will be pleased to receive this patriotic thank you from a grateful American.

Parting Thoughts

I'm looking forward to the day when work slows down enough to allow for:
  • making more cards,
  • leaving comments for my fellow OWHers, and
  • visiting CAS-ual Fridays and Mojo Mondays.
Until then, thanks for your continued support. I really appreciate your visits. Happy scrappin'!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

An Any Hero Card for the Fourth

Hi, everyone,

On this special day, I used OWH Sketch #127 as the inspiration to make an Any Hero card to honor one of our troops and his/her loved one.

Paper: We R Memory Keepers Red, White & Boom, Bazzill cardstock; Stamper's Best sentiment;  Embellishments: Baker's Twine, garage sale brad from the girls' paperie by Margie

While I wish this card were a little fancier, the sentiment and enclosed message are heartfelt.

My thanks and appreciation go out to our troops and military families for their service and sacrifice as we celebrate our nation's freedom. Wishing everyone a safe Fourth of July holiday.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Did Someone Say Fireworks?

Hi, everyone,

A quick post to share a card for Ashley's July sketch. For my card, I focused on the middle part of Ashley's sketch.

July SOTM.jpg

We R Memory Keepers Red, White & Blue; Stickles; heat embossing with Versamark and clear powder
  • I layered 3 pieces of paper for the background paper.
  • In place of the 4 x 3 photos, I stamped using VersaMark, heat embossed using clear embossing powder, and cut out two firecrackers. (The stamp is from a Making Memories set purchased at a garage sale!) 
  • The lighter sections of the fireworks were a happy accident.I was tracing around the sections with a white gel pen when I smeared a little of the ink. So, I wondered what would happen if I purposely smeared the ink. When I liked the end result, I repeated the process with the second firecracker. A happy accident, indeed! I really like the subtle striping that the smearing created.
  • For the 4 x 6 photo, I cut out text and an image from papers in the pad. I also cut out part of a pennant from one of the other papers for the circle and plume above the second 4 x 3 photo.
  • I cut a border, fussy cutting along the arced edge, for the borders separating the middle and bottom parts of the sketch.
  • For two finishing touches, I adhered elements (the left firecracker, the round image on the far right, the bottom border) with pop up glue dots and added crystal Stickles (the firecracker bursts, the stars in the pennant, the stars and firecrackers in the circular element, the stars in the center strip of the border) for a little shimmer.
Hubby commented that this is a little busier than my typical card and I have to agree. But, the card's elements seem to have a nice balance and I kind of like the way it turned out. I hope one of our heroes will be pleased to receive it.

Parting Thoughts

Thanks for stopping by. Have a fun, patriotic, and safe Fourth of July holiday. And, happy scrappin!