Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Patriotic Thanks!

Hi everyone,

Isn't interesting how sometimes cards come so quickly and other times not so quickly? Well, this week's OWH sketch came together quickly for me, resulting in the Any Hero card below. :)

Paper: dp: We R Memory Keepers Red, White, & Blue; light blue: Distress Ink core; other cardstock: AC or Bazzill
Baker's Twine: The Twinery; Mark Richards crystal stickers
Sentiment stamped in Distress Ink black soot, embossed with clear powder

Punches: The Paper Studio and Fiskars

I find myself struggling with pairing the patterns in this dp collection -- and struggling with the larger patterns in the pad. Using the larger pattern as the background, paired with solid cardstock, seemed to work well for this sketch.

Parting Thoughts

I am so excited about OWH Design Boot Camp, aren't you? Paula's first post about color theory was jam-packed full of great information. And, the individual comments she's leaving on blogs are much appreciated.  If you  haven't checked this out yet,  you really should!

Resolution Update: It's been nice to visit other blogs and reconnect with some OWH friends. The craft room is ready for the next round of card-making. Now all I need to do is make a Midweek Throwdown challenge card using this sketch.

Hope everyone has a great week.  We're reaching the biggest milestone of an unbelievably intense project at work this week. It will be such a HUGE accomplishment -- and big relief!

Thanks for visiting and happy scrappin'!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hoppy Easter

Hi everyone,

The card below is for this week's OWH Midweek Throwdown challenge.

It's actually quite a departure for me. For whatever reason, I don't typically make Easter cards. And, I don't usually make "punny" cards -- but I remembered Sandy saying kids love getting "punny" cards. So, I thought what the heck and gave this one a try.

Paper: Core-dinations core paper inked using Distress Ink Scattered Straw and Concord; ???? stash dp
Sentiment: computer-generated using Comic Sans printed on the reverse side of the goldish-orange core paper
Stickers: stash Creative Memories

I had to laugh when I read Bobbi's comments about her card taking 2 hours. I have no idea how long this card took, but it was a 2 night and 1 afternoon endeavor! I probably spent at least an hour getting just the right color of purple for the Comic Sans font. :)

Parting Thoughts

Hoping to make a couple of thank you cards for a few folks at work as we reach a huge milestone of a monumental project.

Thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Butterflies in the Night

Hi everyone,

A quick post for the first session of Operation Write Home Design Boot Camp -- a wonderful idea if I ever heard one!

I went with a monochromatic card. 

Paper: Momenta paired with several hues of Distress Ink core paper
Martha Stewart butterfly punches; Fiskars border punch;
Creative Memories cutting system with oval template
Mark Richards pearls; gel pen antennae

I like the oval window effect -- created using pop-up dots -- and the papers. I really love the delicate look of the butterflies. I think that  a couple of pearls in the corners or along the edges would be nice, but I'm concerned about adding any extra bulk.

Parting Thoughts

Hoping to tackle the Midweek Throwdown Easter challenge this weekend.

Thanks to all for your recent comments. As always, thanks for stopping by and  happy scrappin'!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

OWH Sketch #156

Hi everyone,

Can you believe 2 posts in one day?! It's shocking, I know!

This week's OWH sketch really has a strong focal point. The rectangle I cut from a scrapbook-page-sized Bo Bunny circular die cut seemed a perfect fit for the sketch's large rectangular element.

Paper: Bo Bunny Liberty, Bazzill Admiral and Watermelon
Sentiment stamped in Stampin' Up! Night of Navy
embellishments: metallic brads; tool: crimper

For this Any Hero card, I rotated the sketch 90 degrees clockwise, extended the smaller rectangle, and added a sentiment in the bottom right. The result is a CAS All-American card just right for a no-frill
All- American hero.  :)  And, hubby actually sees the sketch in the card on this one!

Parting Thoughts

I  think the simplicity of the sketch will make it a versatile one to use for a variety of cards. Hoping to make a couple more cards, including a Midweek Throwdown card, from this sketch later on this week.

Still on track with my resolutions to leave comments for fellow OWHers and to clean up my space after each card-making session. :)  And, from the activity at the gym, folks are sticking with their exercise resolutions. Hope your resolutions are going well.

Have a great week. Thanks for stopping by and happy scrappin'!

2 Great Inspirations: Blog Candy and a New Sketch

Hi everyone,

This is an early Sunday morning post to share a card made yesterday.

There were 2 inspirations for the card.
  • Blog candy from Marsha at Gramma's Room arrived this week. The package included a bow easy and a Unity stamp. Initially, I was more excited that I had won the bow easy because I am so bow-making challenged. However, I loved the stamp so much that I used it first. :) 
    If you haven't seen Marsha's cards, you really need to take a look. Her OWH Top Ten of 2012 cards are fabulous! The little cowboy shown below was my favorite, but it was a tough call. Thanks again, Marsha!
  • For the design, I tweaked a scrapbook page layout by Ashley at Designs by Ashley Rock. I rotated the sketch 90 degrees clockwise and then included several of the layout elements, such as the 3 circles and 3 strips, on my card.(Ashley makes fabulous sketches for scrapbook page layouts. If you're into scrapbooking, they're definitely worth checking out.)
One of Marsha's Top Ten of 2012!
So Darn Cute!

A New Scrapbook Layout from Ashley!

Paper: Momenta, AC cardstock, and Distress Ink Core Paper
Image: Unity Stamp embossed with Distress Ink Vintage Photo and clear powder
Techniques: distressing, "aging" using Distress Ink Antique Linen, Peeled Paint, and Scattered Straw

Tools: Tim Holtz distressing tool, hole punch

I'm really pleased with the way the postcard turned out. The AC cardstock was a very light cream/ivory.

Parting Thoughts

I had to laugh when I read Carol's comment wishing that her hubby took as much interest in her cards as my hubby does in mine. Believe me, I get lots of eye rolls and "that's okay" responses. :)

Hubby's response for today's card was that I am always showing him sketches and cards -- and that the cards never seem to have any resemblance to the sketches. (Did I ever mention that hubby is more of a black and white kind of guy?) But, in spite of his wry comments and dry wit, he often offers good suggestions as to the type of card a "man" would like to send or receive.

Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend. Thanks for stopping by and happy scrappin'!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

OWH Midweek Color Challenge

Hi everyone,

A quick midweek post to share a card for this week's challenge to make a card featuring the color green.

Distress Ink core paper, inked in Distress Ink Vintage Photo and sanded
Computer-generated sentiment in Mistral font
Some of you may have seen this one beforeThis is actually v2.0 of a card I made for a CAS-ual Fridays challenge a week or two ago. Hubby suggested a gem-free version in which various words were highlighted using a different colored font.  Since it's going to my next OWH shipment, I thought I'd add it to this week's collection.

Overall, I like the results. But, I think the font on the next one needs to be a slightly different green. This font green is a slightly different shade than the green cardstock...

Parting Thoughts

If you haven't checked out cards made by Bobbi, who made this week's adorable sample card, they're definitely worth a look. I had the pleasure of meeting Bobbi at an OWH card-making party last fall. She makes some lovely cards and is a huge supporter of OWH. :)

Received a little blog candy in the mail today! More about that in an upcoming post.

Thanks for visiting and happy scrappin'!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Don't You Love Getting a New Toy?

I know I do. And, I couldn't wait until this weekend to share what I made with my new Martha Stewart punch-all-over-the-page toy!

Paper: AC, Bazzill Admiral and Watermelon
Punches: Martha Stewart and the Paper Studio star punches
Embellishments: Bo Bunny Liberty sticker, Mark Richards crystal stickers

Well, actually the first thing I made was this template. :)

So, what's your newest favorite paper-crafting toy and what did you you make with it?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

OWH Sketch #155

Hi everyone,

Hope it's been a nice weekend.

I had a chance to make a couple of cards this afternoon inspired by this week's OWH sketch.  So, I have two cards to share.

In each case, I had to use a different-sized oval different than the sketch oval. After cutting out the oval, I decided on the oval's focal point image. After that, I made changes to the sketch based upon the embellishments that accentuated each focal point.

Each card was also inspired by the Midweek Throwdown challenge to create a sentiment-free card. Since the cards are sentiment-free, I chose to move down the sticker/stars and ribbon embellishments.

Card 1: An Any Hero Card

Cardstock: AC, Bazzill Admiral and Watermelon
Bo Bunny Liberty rub-on transfer and sticker; Mark Richards crystal stickers
Punches: Martha Stewart punch all over the page, The Paper Studio, circle punch

Think I will also post this one at CAS-ual Fridays. This week's challenge is to make a card that has a circle.

Card 2: A Card for a Hero to Send to a Loved One

Paper: My Mind's Eye Moments, Distress Ink Core Paper inked in Stampin' Up! Bordering Blue
Technique: fancy cutting; Embellishments: Mark Richards crystal stickers, tulle

Parting Thoughts

Still working on my resolutions -- including leaving comments for fellow card-makers!

An interesting thing happened this week that reminded me of when I first joined a gym years ago. The first week I joined the gym, I won a free T-shirt. That may not sound like a lot, but I don't typically win much. And, I took it as a sign that I was really supposed to continue working out.

Well, this week I learned I won some blog candy -- from a blog where I had left a comment during the Top Ten of 2012 blog hop. This was my first blog candy win -- and I am taking it as a sign that I really am supposed to continue leaving comments. :)

Hope everyone has a great week!  Thanks for stopping. Happy scrappin'!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First OWH Shipment of 2013 -- v2.0

Hi everyone,

In case you didn't know, postage rates are going up on January 27. So, Operation Write Home is sponsoring a new card challenge.


I am pleased to say I sent in my first card shipment of the year this afternoon. The box was filled with lots of kid-friendly Bo Bunny Blast Off cards along with a mixture of others, including a few spring-flower-inspired cards and a few Any Hero cards. :)

So, how do you celebrate the first shipment of the year?

By starting on shipment #2, of course!  The card below was inspired by this week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge to make a thank you card -- and my love of travel.

Computer-Generated background and sentiment
Ranger core paper; miscellaneous gems

So, this is version 1.0 of a card expressing "thank you" in lots of languages. [Wish the scan had turned out better. Looks like I need to take a closer at look at Nancy's tutorial on taking better photos :).]

I'm planning on playing around with this concept a bit more, but this is the process I used for this first attempt.
  • Using Mistral font and an online translator, I created several backgrounds as a Word document file. (Please e-mail me at cards[dot]by[dot]sybrina[at]gmail[dot]com if you'd like me to e-mail my Word doc files.)
  •  I chose a classic black and white palette with a red accent.
  • Next, I decided to use crystal gems and placed these under 3 of the words that would be among the most familiar.
  • I tried several shapes and several shades of red before deciding upon the nested ovals shown, with the larger oval cut from Ranger Distress Ink core paper.  (This was one time I sure wish I had a Cricut that could make a fancier, more elegant shape.)
  •  Penultimately -- following a consultation with hubby, I added a few gems around the smaller oval for a stronger connection between the background sentiments and the focal sentiment. 
  • Lastly, I cleaned up my space! :  
Don't you hate it when the men in our lives are right?

So, I showed the card above to hubby. As normal, he wasn't thrilled by the gems -- and said something about a man not being to send a card like that. 

Then he offered a couple of suggestions. 

So, an edited Word document and a couple of sheets of Ranger Core Paper later, the card below was born. As much as I hate to admit, I really do like card fit for a man. :)

Ranger Core Paper, sanded and inked with Distress Ink Vintage Photo

 Parting Thoughts

Hoping to try a few more versions of this multi-language thank you concept, including a suggestion or two made by hubby. Thanks for stopping by. Happy scrappin'!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

1-2-3: 1 Sketch, 2 Cards, 3 Challenges

Hi everyone,

Hope you all had a chance to check out each cardmaker's post of Top Ten Cards of 2012. There were lots of wonderful cards to provide plenty of inspiration for this new year!

Speaking of the Top Ten posts, my sincerest thanks to all who visited my last post -- and special thanks to those who left such kind comments. It seems Frosty's L'il Friend and Jean Scene were the crowd favorites. Ironically enough, Jean Scene almost didn't make the list. Lol. :)

I have two cards to share, both of which are inspired by this week's OWH sketch challenge. The first is an Any Hero card that was made for this month's ODBD challenge to make a card using dry embossing. The second card is a romantic card for the Midweek Challenge to make a card with spring flowers.

This Week's Any Hero Card

Bo Bunny Liberty; Bazzill, including Admiral and Watermelon
Tools: Square, Circle, Star and Hole punches; crimper; Cuttlebug embossing folder
Other Technique: brushing with pastels to accentuate embossing
Other than not having the same size circle as the sketch circle, I tried to be pretty true to the sketch. Nothing much new here except that I adhered the red background, white rectangle and blue square cardstock pieces before embossing.

Romance in Blue and Yellow

Paper: My Mind's Eye Moments; Ribbon: Sheer Creations, Celebrate It!;
Embellishments: miscellaneous crystals; Technique: fussy cutting
I'm afraid this scanned image doesn't do this card justice -- I'm absolutely crazy about this one!. :)  The flower is 4-layered (a bottom layer of blue polka dot paper, 2 layers of the yellow flower separated by a pop dot, and a top layer for the center of the flower), with micro-thin crystals. To adhere these tiny crystals, I clustered the crystals on top of one small glue dot.

The ribbon treatment was inspired by two fellow OWHers. Thanks to Carol L for sharing her trick to adhere a flat ribbon and then loop loose ribbon to create a bow. Thanks to Bobbi for her idea to pair different colored ribbons on her sample card.

Parting Thoughts

So, how's everyone doing with their crafting goals? I was thinking my post-cardmaking clean-up goal might be a little ambitious -- and then I read all of your comments. Now I'm thinking it's lots ambitious. (Seriously, what was I thinking but... so far, so good!) So, here's my Week 1 report card:
  • making Any Hero and Midweek Throwdown cards from a weekly sketch: A
  • leaving comments: B-/C+ (numerous comments for Top Ten posts, 1 comment for today's sketch post, but 0 comments for the Midweek Throwdown)
  • cleaning up the craft room: A+
Had to get a new cutting board this weekend. Can't believe I actually broke my most recent one. :(  So, hoping this week's cards' cuts are precise enough...

Hoping to make a Thank You card for this week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge.

Finally, as always, thanks for stopping and happy scrappin'! And, have a great week!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Favorite Cards of 2012

Happy New Year!

Thought I'd take a few minutes to share my three favorite cards from the past year, along with seven contenders.. Each caption has a sentence or two about the reason for selecting the card, as well as a link to each card's original post.


The Contenders...

A Divine Treat
This was one of my first attempts at coloring -- and with acrylics, no less!
It also provided me with the opportunity to "chat" with the cupcake's artist, Elizabeth Dulemba.
posted on 3/12/2012

For a Traditional Dad
This was my first time to use Core Paper.The design took a card I made
for my dad to the next level.
posted on 4/16/2012

Look Who's Turning One!
This card was a favorite for several reasons.
It was my first time to create a Tim Holtz-inspired background and to heat emboss with clear powder.
In addition, it was one of my first times to link to a site other than OWH.
posted on 5/6/2012

ROARing Good Day!
This was one of my first ever kiddie cards.
In addition, it was my first "official" adventure in paper piecing.
(BTW: This was one of hubby's Top 3!)
posted on 2/12/2012

A Patriotic Challenge
Those of you who have visited before know how much I love to make Any Hero cards.
My favorite Any Hero cards, like the one shown, often use Bo Bunny Liberty paper and a little jute.
Moreover, this was a sample card for one of the Sunday Sketch challenges. :)
posted on 9/30/2012

Jean Scene
This was my first shaped card -- and I was able to make 8 of them from some great
garage-sale-find stickers! Moreover, two of the eight were set aside for birthday cards
for my 11- and 12-year old nephews. :)
posted on 7/11/2012

Three Times the Greenery
Those who have visited before also have seen cards inspired by Ashley's fabulous scrapbook
designs. I loved how this card has a CAS-feel even though the design was fairly elaborate. I also loved
how the swirls in the paper were repeated in the stamped image, the trees, and the curvature
of the border punch. Finally, I was thrilled that this card was a sample card for the Christmas is for Kids
Labor Day VCMP challenge. :)
posted on 9/2/2012

And now the Three Favorites...

Love is in the Air
I absolutely adore everything about this card -- from the patterns and gems of the butterflies,
to the blueness of the paper, to the doodled butterfly trails.This was made for a CAS-ual Fridays challenge... and is my best CAS card... so far! (BTW This was another of hubby's Top 3! He likes the "simple ones.")
posted 4/1/2012

A Seussian Christmas
This card was inspired by a CAS-ual Fridays challenge -- taking another card I made for my dad
to the next level. I loved the result so much, I made these in three different palettes for this year's
Craft Fair. (And, for the record, this is hubby's #1 pick-of-the-year!)
posted on 7/24/2012

Frosty's L'il Friend
Just thinking about a little one receiving this adorable snowman-shaped card from mommy or daddy
brought me such joy that I had to choose it as my favorite. Moreover, it combined several of the techniques I had been working on during the year, including heat embossing and combining textures. Finally, it was a sample card for the Christmas is for Kids Labor Day VCMP challenge. :)
posted on 9/2/2012

Parting Thoughts

So, Sandy mentioned setting a crafting goal or two. 
  • For starters, I'm going to continue to make an Any Hero card -- and also a Midweek Throwdown card -- for as many Sunday sketches as possible.  
  • I'm going to do my best to clean up my space immediately after each cardmaking session. :)
  • And, once this big deadline at work has been met, I hope to leave more comments for my fellow OWHers. I know how much comments mean to me.... and I know I've really dropped the ball on that one this past year. :(
It's been almost two years that I first started making cards for Operation Write Home. Little did I know then that I was joining such a talented, caring, and generous community of crafters. Not only do OWHers create fabulous cards for our heroes, they create a genuine sense of community and family for their fellow cardmakers. I am very grateful for the support and friendship of my OWH colleagues. Thank you all so very much for your amazing support of OWH and for your help in making me a better cardmaker. :)

As always, thanks so much for visiting. Here's wishing you many joyful hours of scrappin' in 2013!

You can click here to return to the rest of the OWH Top Ten links. :)