Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WILD About You

Hi everyone,

When I first saw today's OWH Midweek Throwdown, I had no idea what I would make. Then, I remembered a croc embossing folder and some animal print paper -- and the card below was born!

Midweek Throwdown Recipe:
embossing folder: Sizzix
border punch: EK Success
2 patterned paper: BasicGrey 12 by 12 pad
1 piece of jute twine
(sentiment: computer-generated (Andy font); paper and twine inked with Adirondack espresso)


I must admit, I'm pretty wild about the way this tag turned out -- and everything about it is hand-crafted. :) 
  • The sentiment is computer-generated and printed on the back of a piece of Core-dinations Vintage paper. 
  •  The core paper was mounted on two "solid" papers from the same BasicGrey pad.
  • Each layer of the tag is inked with Adirondack espresso.
  • The jute twine was also pressed into the Adirondack ink. It is double knotted and "secured' with a dab of glue on the back of the tag.
  • Finally, the tag was adhered using 3D glue dots.
My initial thought was to add a few brads. However, I decided to leave the tag and card exactly as shown.

Hope a hero is as wild about this card as I am. :)

As always, thanks for visiting and happy scrappin'!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Taking a Stand

Hi everyone,

Last night, I watched On the Waterfront for about the 100th time. Boy, when Hollywood gets it right, it really gets it right. Must be why I love watching the Oscars so much. :)

So, I think I was drawn to the sentiment on this week's Any Hero card because of Marlon Brando's and Karl Malden's portrayals in this magnificent film.

dp: Bo Bunny Liberty, browns: Core'dinations Vintage, blue: Bazzill Admiral, white: Bazzill or AC
sentiment: Stamper's Best heat embossed in Distress Ink Vintage Photo; garage sale brads
Creative Memories cutting system

For the card above, I tweaked the sketch. (Although, hubby could actually see the sketch in this one. Maybe there's hope for me yet!) I rotated the sketch 90 degrees, used a circle instead of an oval for the sentiment, and went with 3 brads instead of 2.

I'm really liking the way the blue and brown combo turned out. Love the texture of the core paper. Hoping one of heroes will feel the same way.

Parting Thoughts

Thanks to Paula for some helpful Focal Point feedback.

Think I need to get in a nap this afternoon to make it up for the Best Picture award. lol :)

Finally, will probably cut out elements for some Mother's Day cards while cheering on the hometown team during an afternoon college basketball game.

As always, thanks for visiting. Have a great week and happy scrappin'!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Wisp of Silver

Hi everyone,

This week's CAS-ual Fridays Challenge is to create a CAS project that has a touch of silver. So, I thought this might be a perfect time to return to a couple of the challenges posted during last weekend's OWH VCMP.

Those of you who joined in the fun may remember the card at the right. It combined two of the challenges: a multi-layered card in only white and/or cream and a glitter-flee glitz/glam card.

As much as I loved the card, I was concerned that it may not be very mail-friendly for our heroes to send home. So, I decided to use this CAS-ual Friday challenge as an opportunity to make a more mail-friendly version.

DCWV Christmas & Winter Combo silvery matstack paper, AC white cardstock
Cuttlebug ef; Martha Stewart punches; Mark Richards crystals; tulle
(Sorry the image isn't brighter, but it's pretty clear -- and an accurate representation of the colors.)

I just love the elegance of these white-on-white and cream-on-cream cards. Talk about some lovely wedding and anniversary cards. While this silvery version would be perfect for a 25th anniversary, it would be so easy to change colors to commemorate other milestone anniversaries.   :)

Parting Thoughts

Planning on working on some Mother's Day cards tonight -- and maybe piecing together a few more patriotic hearts. Hoping to make an Any Hero card tomorrow using OWH's weekly sketch.

Thanks for visiting and happy scrappin'!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Focal Point Hearts -- Takes 2 and 3

Hi everyone,

First of all, thanks to all those who hosted stops on last weekend's VCMP!  The challenges were so much fun!

And, thanks to everyone who visited here. Special thanks to those who left comments. The patriotic chevron card and the diffused-embossed gear card seemed to be the crowd favorites.

I'm so excited that I won the blog candy at the Desert Rose Stamper -- whose challenge was to make a card in white and/or cream. Looks like some lovely lace and embellishments are headed my way!  :)

Focal Point Card -- Take One

cardstock: AC and Distress Ink core; original heart pattern created in Word
tools: Sizzix ef, crimper, sander; embellishments: Recollections brads

Note: Wish the image did justice to the colors. The red is a much richer red.
The brads are a much deeper blue, about the same color as the cardstock.

I posted the card at the right for OWH's Design Bootcamp Focal Point Challenge. Silly me... I actually thought it had a strong focal point. :)

While Paula agreed that her eye first went to the heart element, she felt a little "tension" with regard to the
3 stars.

She suggested that a larger blue rectangle around the heart element might help make that element an even stronger focal point.

Focal Point Card -- Take Two

Aside from swapping out the brads, I kept most of the elements exactly the same in the card below. (I did have to use a slightly different neutral because I was all out of the one used on the first card.) 

As you will see, I tweaked the dimensions of several of the elements. Even though I'm waiting official word from Paula, this focal point feels much stronger to me. But I'm wondering if it's possible for a focal point to be too strong... And, if yes, is this focal point so strong that it is overpowering?

Focal Point Card -- TakeThree

For this week's Midweek Throwdown Fun Folds Challenge, I made a brad-less version of the card, again keeping many of the elements the same. I did add a red square behind the heart element to tie in the red of the heart.

This card feels like it has a really strong focal point. But, it seems like it might be easier to make a strong focal point with a symmetrical card. 

Parting Thoughts

So, what do you think about these three cards? Is there one that appeals to you more than the others? What is it that you like about it? (Hubby's review was the same for all three -- "nice".)

I loved how all three of this week's OWH posts were interrelated: Design Bootcamp Focal Point,Tuesday Tutorial featuring techniques that produce strong focal points, and Midweek Throwdown Fun Folds that can produce strong focal points. Nice job, Paula, Nancy and Jan!  :)

Working from home tomorrow. So, it feels kind of like the weekend. Hope your weekend is a good one.

Happy scrappin'!  

Monday, February 18, 2013

My Heart Beats Red, White, and Blue

Hi everyone,

Time for Day 2 of Design Boot Camp!  This month's topic is creating a focal point. Maybe it's just wishful thinking but, as I look at all of the cards I created for our VCMP, I really believe this is a part of design theory that I've come to do pretty well.   :)

So, let's put this theory to the test. Paula mentions that our card should showcase a star that is supported by the other card elements, much like the star of a film is supported by the other actors in the cast.

In the card below, my intent was to cast the paper-pieced heart in the starring role. To accomplish this:
  • I double framed the heart using (neutral) tan and deep navy rectangles as its base. 
  • The red strip was placed to run under the center of the rectangles to bring focus back to the heart. (The red strip was crimped and embellished with brads to add a little extra interest.) 
  • These elements were placed on top of white to pop the colors. (The white rectangle was embossed for a little contrast and added interest.) 
  • I used navy for the card base to connect the card background with the heart. 
  • For further continuity, I used the same cardstocks for all of the white elements and all of the red elements throughout the card. 
cardstock: AC and Distress Ink core; original heart pattern created in Word
tools: Sizzix ef, crimper, sander; embellishments: Recollections brads

Note: Wish the image did justice to the colors. The red is a much richer red.
The brads are a much deeper blue, about the same color as the cardstock.

I've actually been tinkering with this idea for awhile. The design is an original, created using shapes in Word. Its inspiration was the heart in Sweet Stamp Shop's God Bless America stamp set.

I'm pretty pleased with the way this little heart turned out. So, don't be surprised if you don't see it starring in a couple more cards in the days to come.  :)

 Parting Thoughts

Since the colors of Ohio's state flag are red, white, and blue, think I'll also post this card for this week's Midweek Throwdown.

Looking forward to seeing the other focal point cards in this session of boot camp. Thanks again, Paula, for being our camp instructor!

As always, thanks for visiting and happy scrappin'!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Paper, Tools & Techniques... Oh, My!

Hi everyone,

Excited about this weekend's OWH Virtual Cardmaking Party? I know I am.

star paper, chevron paper, word search: We R Memory Keepers Red, White & Blue
cardstock: red: Bazzill watermelon, blue: ???; stars: Recollections brads
techniques: crimping, fussy cutting

This challenge inspired me to use one of those patterns and one of those small embellishments in the paper pad that hadn't initially called to me. Thanks, Erika!

Thinking this is a card that might appeal to a pre-teen.

paper: Core-indinations Vintage collections; butterfly: K & Company adhesive chipboard
embellishments: Queen & Co and Mark Richards pearls; flea market & scrap ribbon by/from ???
technique: embossing with Sizzix folder; tools: Creative Memories cutting system, corner rounder
I can never resist the opportunity to make a butterfly card. Misty's challenge gave me the perfect reason to use this adorable butterfly chipboard sticker. Thanks, Misty!

It seems like a daddy might be sending these butterfly kisses to his little princess. :)

green/gray paper: Distress Ink core, black: Cardstock Warehouse Paper Co, brown: AC;
embellishments: garage sale brads;
techniques: selective embossing with Tim Holtz folder; heat embossing with Distress Ink Black Soot and clear powder;
inking in Distress Ink Black Soot, Distress Ink Vintage Photo, Stampin' Up! Bravo Burgandy, Stampin' Up! Going Gray
sentiment: Jillian Vance; adhesive: 3D glue dots

Oh my gosh -- I've seen this technique used on cards and wondered how it was done!  Thank you, Beth, for sharing this with us! 

One note about the card: I originally placed brads at the center of the gears, but felt the gears were starting to look more like flowers. So, I added additional brads -- going for a few clusters of 3 -- to bring back the "manliness" feel of the card. Hubby said it was "nice", which is pretty high praise from Mr. Stoic. :)

Summer Rule No. 7 tag: My Mind's Eye garage-sale bargain
blue paper: Distress Ink core; brown and green paper: Core-dinations Vintage core
circle and hole punches, sanded for distressed effect
inking in Distress Ink Vintage Photo, Distress Ink Peeled Paint, and Distress Ink Tumbled Glass
paper: BasicGrey inked in Distress Ink Vintage Photo and Distress Ink Antique Linen
Martha Stewart butterfly punches; Creative Memories cutting system
Queen & Company and Mark Richards Pearl; Cuttlebug Swiss Dot embossing folder

It's ironic I have two cards for this challenge because I really do not have many winged things in my stash upstairs -- a fact hubby would find rather unbelievable! Thanks, Yvonne, for helping me spread my wings for this challenge. 

What I really like about the first of these cards is that it's a change of pace for me. I've had this adorable tag, which was 10 cents at a garage sale, for several years. Guess it was waiting for just the right challenge to come along! I also like how the sanded circles mimic the circles on the tag.

The second card is more of a typical card for me, although I don't often emboss patterned paper. Hubby preferred this one. :)

paper: Moxxie Father 12x12 and AC Neutrals cardstock 8x8; Cuttlebug ef
sentiment: Stamper's Best heat embossed with Distess Ink Vintage Photo
star punches: The Paper Studio and Fiskars; garage sale brad
inking in Distress Ink Vintage Photo and Close to My Heart Desert Sand


What a great challenge!  I never would've thought about getting 6 cards from one 12 by 12 sheet. And, I seldom make multiples.

However, confession is good for the soul. I had to cheat a little on this one. The only 8.5 by 11 cardstock I have is Bazzill Admiral and Watermelon -- to go with my cherished Bo Bunny Liberty paper. But, I went with the spirit of the challenge and made 6 cards from this one 12 by 12 sheet of Moxxie paper. :)

Oh, my sentiment strips are not the specified dimensions for the designated sketch... and I moved the sketch embellishments. It just felt right to place the stars on the right side to balance out the vertical strips.

dp and star sticker: Bo Bunny Liberty; cardstock: Bazzill Admiral and Watermelon
star brads: Recollections

Love the sketch!  This week's Any Hero card really came together quickly once I decided upon the dp for the background. Decided against the sentiment rectangle after placing the star on the white paper.

Can't get enough of these cute little star brads I found on sale at Michael's this past week. Just wish the center part of my card didn't look like it's sliding downhill. Why don't these things ever look so obvious on the card? :(

cardstock: AC; computer-generated sentiment
tools: Creative Memories cutting system, hole punch
Okay, I have so few wheel-related items in my stash. But, I found stickers from long ago. So, I went online, did a search of truck birthday parties, and came up with the idea of yellow and black diagonals. Various party sentiments provided a spark of inspiration and the card text was born. Kind of stumbled on the gray and orange papers through experimentation. Finally, I decided to go with just black punched holes to kid-friendly focal accents

Thanks, Linda, for inspiring me to create my own wheek-related background to go with my few stickers. :)

DCWV Sweet matstack; SEI Happy Day die cut accent
stash ribbon (with cute polka dots); Mark Richards crystal sticker pearls
tools: Creative Memories cutting system, Fiskars border bunch
technique: inking edges in Close to My Heart Desert Sand
Jen, you had me at chocolate. Thanks for hosting!  :)

For those new to OWH, the glitter on this card is okay. Papers with baked-in glitter, like some DCWV and SEI lines, are okay to use. The "Can I scrape it off?" test is a good test to use. 

Sharon's All White & Cream and Kaylee's Glitter-Free Glitz and Glam Challenges

White & Cream cardstock: AC; Cuttlebug ef
embellishements: Queen & Co and Mark Richards pearls, cream tulle

I never, ever would have thought of doing a 3-layered card in all white or cream. And the results are so elegantly CAS. I'm really loving this monochromatic look. (Wouldn't this make a beautiful wedding card?)

For Sharon's challenge, the layers are: bottom embossed white base, cream rectangle, and a white rectangle with a scored border. I went with pearled butterflies and tulle for the embellishments.

After I embossed the butterflies, I thought about adding a tiny pearl for every embossed dot -- channeling my inner Sandy, I suppose! This seemed like a perfect way to incorporate Kaylee's glam challenge. While it makes for an interesting effect, I'm thinking all the pearls might be too much to send in the mail. So, I'm thinking of replacing the top butterflies before I mail this to Kris -- maybe going with just a few pearls in the center of each butterfly.

Thanks to both Sharon and Kaylee for hosting such creative challenges.

Making Memories Packing Tape; Core-dinations core paper
computer-generated sentiment; garage sale brads

technique: sanding

I seem to be saying this a lot during this card-making party, but I did not have any  washi tape in the menopause (aka craft) room -- mainly because I had no idea what to do with it. However, I did have some garage-sale packing tape that I had not yet opened. So, in the spirit of the challenge, I went with that.

After seeing Donna's great sample card and the wonderful linked cards, it looks like I'm headed to my LSS to pick up some washi tape. Thanks, Donna, for showing some of the cool things that can be done with a little tape!

Parting Thoughts

Wow! That was so much fun! With the recent demands of work, it'd been a long time since I've had a couple of days to devote to cardmaking. So glad I was able to do that this weekend.  :)

Thanks to OWH's very own Allison for organizing our party and to all of the cardmakers who hosted challenges. And, thanks to all of you who visited and/or left comments.

Looks like it's time for Design Boot Camp. It appears Paula has a focal point lesson for us!  
Happy scrappin'!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Much Obliged

Hi everyone,

As our big project at work is coming to a close, I thought I'd share a thank you card that I made for a couple of new team members to commemorate the completion of their first book.

Marsha's adorable little cowboy
The inspiration for this card came from one of Marsha's Top Ten of 2012 cards -- an adorable little cowboy that I featured in an earlier post. For reasons that will remain known only to the team, a cowboy theme was appropriate for these thank you cards. :)

I apologize in advance for not being sure of the all of the materials used. My list of supplies went missing -- and my brain's been gone for a while now!

dp: BasicGrey vanilla bean and stash; cardstock: Distress Ink core???
embellishments: garage sale brads, drug store string; tool: the Paper Studio star punch
computer-generated sentiment

I did an Internet search for cowboy lingo. The inside sentiment read, "... you did a powerful bang-up job, and we're much obliged!"

I'd love to know the color theory that makes this card work. It's definitely not monochromatic nor analagous. But, it doesn't seem to be truly complementary either.  Hmmm...

Parting Thoughts

Hope I have the stamina tonight to work on a card featuring the colors in Ohio's state flag for this week's Midweek Throwdown color challenge. But, pardners, I'm feeling mighty tired this evening. :)

Much obliged that you stopped by and wish you some powerful scrappin'!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

And they called it...

Hi everyone,

Okay, I guess it helps if you read blog posts carefully.  :)

The title of this week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge is Love Song in honor of the Grammy Awards. So, I made the card below with the title of a love song in mind. Turns out my card was supposed to be inspired by a song I love. Oh well... Here's this week's card.

miscellaneous cardstock; paw print: scanned image from Frame-Ups (Dog Days)
EK Success triple heart punches heat embossed with AC Zing clear powder
bones stamp from All Night Media (Woof Pet Stamp Strips), embossed with Stampendous silver

So, what song served as the inspiration for this card? And they called it.......... PUPPY LOVE.  :)

The dog lover in me was inspired by Puppy Love, first recorded by Paul Anka and later covered by Donnie Osmond. A few design decisions were:
  • Since doggies love bones, I stamped bones for the background image.
  • The heart inside the paw print has a double meaning:  a love for doggies and a case of being smitten with puppy love. 
To make the paw print, I scanned a small image from Frame Ups, saved it as a JPG, resized it in a word document, transferred it onto cardstock using graphite tracing paper, and fussy cutted it out. It is adhered using 3D and pop up dots.

To get glossy, shiny hearts, I pressed strips of white and red cardstock into a Versamark pad and then heat embossed the strips using clear powder. Afterwards, I punched out the hearts from the cardstock strips, using two of the three settings on the EK Success punch.

Hope this little card brings a smile to a dog lover in one of OWH's hero's families.
 Parting Thoughts

It's been so nice to return to the world of the living after being engulfed in all-consuming project at work. Seems like forever since I've been able to make cards for both OWH and CAS-ual Fridays in the same week. :)

Stay safe and warm. Have a good week. And, happy scrappin'!

Words To Live By

Hi everyone,

Hope all of our east coast  cardmakers are warm, safe, and sound.

Today's Card: Words To Live By

Today's Any Hero card was inspired by OWH Sketch #159 and the Declaration of Independence.

paper: blue, sanded Distress Ink Core, kraft: AC Neutral
stamped sentiment: ???? in Distress Ink Fired Brick
other text: computer-generated in various font styles and sizes (red: 128, green: 0, blue:0)
embellishments: garage sale brads

This card feels like a bit of a departure for me, although I'm not quite sure why. Maybe it just feels more rustic than my usual cards.

The sanding of blue core paper was a happy accident. There was a small misstep that resulted in the decision to distress the paper so the misstep would blend in rather than stand out. I really like the texture and dimension that the distressing brings to the top layer.

There was a shade of Distress Ink core that I would've preferred to use for the center. However, the remaining piece that I have isn't large enough to go through our printer. But, I do like the font color on this kraft neutral.

I played with different inks for the stamped sentiment, different gems and brads for the bottom, and a variety of embellishments for the top. I ended up going with a single stamped star in the top left corner to balance the sentiment in the lower right. Finally, the blue paper is adhered with 3D dots.

The computer-generated text is something I've been playing around with for a couple of days. The full image is shown at the right. When I saw the sketch, I decided to use it as the bottom layer of this card. I initially had another idea in mind for this text. So, it may be making an appearance on another card sometime in the future. :)

In the end, I'm struggling with whether this little card needs something else or if it's okay as is. Hubby didn't have much of a reaction either way.

Parting Thoughts

I had to smile when I read Donna's and Carol's comments about the amount of work that went into the little cupcake card. They are absolutely right! The original plan was to make a simple, quick birthday card for a kiddo -- and then one thing led to another. But, we've all had cards like that, right?!

Stay safe and warm. Thanks for visiting and happy scrappin'!