Thursday, July 31, 2008

Altering store bought cards...

Hey crafty ladies - hope all is going well with you! I just wanted to pass on some things I have been up to tonight...

I was able to find some really fabulous notecards in a package of 12 with envelopes for $1 at Big Lots yesterday. I noticed that they really matched the SU! colors Purely Pomegranate and Pumpkin Pie - so I grabbed them for sure...

Here is where I started from:



















Some of the things I tried were figuring out which way I wanted to orient the card. You could go either way with these - but I changed up the orientation from where they were originally intended. It makes it easier to add ribbon anyway...

I also did not want to keep the plain sentiment even though it was a perfectly fine sentiment. You know I can't do anything "plain".... I was lucky enough to get the SU! scallop punch to fit the circle area perfectly! I knew that I wanted dimension to this card so I just started adding layers and piercing and voila - here is my final card:



























Some things to remember when using existing cards are that the entire card is really fair game - here are some things to try:
  • Orientation of the actual card base or existing card - how do you want it? Can you change it and improve it?
  • Do you want to just use it as "background paper" - or are there parts of the card that would be nice spotlighted (or cutout and used as a main image).
  • Is there part of the card that you don't particularly like - can you cover it up with punches, flowers, or by mounting a stamped sentiment over it?
  • How can you make it more dimensional? Ribbon? Punches? Other embellishments...
  • Do you like the card - but not the sentiment? Cover it up with some of the techniques listed above...
  • Are you going to keep the card in it's entirety - or are you going to crop it and mount it as a card front?

And don't forget about embellishing your envelope - stamping to match your card works well, or sealing with a stamp or sticker. In this case - my envelope was a bit dark in color - so I just Cuttlebugged the envelope flap instead...
















So I have really really been into vintage things lately - and I found a fabulous antique mall in my town to become addicted to :-) I found tons of vintage cards and postcards - and I knew I could do something with them - so I grabbed about 10 ish...

Here is one that I chose to alter tonight. It is an actual postcard that a wonderful woman sent long long ago- notice the 1 cent postage on the back :-) Ahhh the good old days!! I was impressed at how the SU! colors Ruby Red and River Rock matched this card....




















After I punched out the sentiment with my large SU! Oval punch - I got to work distressing and tearing the main postcard image. I sanded, crumpled, edge distressed, and inked my background papers. The crumpled paper is mounted with regular adhesive, but my postcard image is on dimensionals. I used some SU! HodgePodge Hardware and ribbon - and finished it off with some Gold dimensional paint. I really love this one - I could have never painted anything close to this beautiful... Here is the finished card:





























I hope you are inspired to grab a card next time you see one if you find a good deal or one that you love - but as tempted as you may be - DON'T SEND IT OUT as you bought it!! You have to make it your own - jazz it up a bit - make it amazing!
Happy Friday!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cuttlebug folder techniques...

So I have tons of ideas swirling around in my head every day related to card making (sad I know).... And I could never possibly make all the cards that I sketch up or dream about - so I am passing on some of my ideas here...

I saw a lot of techniques online that used the Cuttlebug folders before I ever bought one. I had to make sure that I could really get my money's worth out of this tool before I committed - and now I have had the opportunity to try them myself. Here are the one's that I have tried tonight - I hope you can see the actual effect in my photos...

Inking the concave side of the folder creates this type of look:















Here I have embossed on vellum - I think it looks like that pompom fabric that is used on babies clothes sometimes....





















Being the packrat that I am - I save everything - of course :-) So after I punched out my metallic embellishment for my faux metal technique tutorial - I ran the silver embossed paper through my houndstooth folder - and it came out looking kind of like diamond plate material. That would work nicely for a masculine card of some sort... Hint hint - with the male tool toting Bella's....

















I ran patterned paper through the embossing folder here - you could also sand on top of it to make the embossed impression stand out a bit more...
















Combining your punches with paper that has been ran through your favorite embossing folder -


















This is a double embossing technique that combines inking the first embossed image - flattening it back down - and then embossing it with the second folder of your choice (the brainchild of Debbie Bankston)... I really like the leaves on the folder and I thought that it would make nice patterned paper actually - so this is how it turned out....















Here - I painted the concave section of my embossing folder and then baby wiped the excess off (not very well I might add - it turned out a bit streaky). I did not want to take the time to go over the embossed image with a gold paint pen - but you could do it that way too. I think the leftover paint is a happy accident of sorts because it makes the black background quite sparkly....



















A lot of ladies online use their folders selectively like I have done here on this itty bitty card that I started. You just put the portion of the front of the card in and hang the rest outside the folder....




















I ran a transparancy through with a folder - and it turned out well - but you would need to finish the whole card to get the whole effect....




















Of course there is always embossing on white core textured cardstock and sand the images to make them pop like I have done in several cards I posted this week - like here....




















Here I have selectively hightlighted part of the folder by embossing it twice, punching out a section, and popping it up on dimensionals.... I have seen this done with stamped images but not with embossed images yet - so maybe this is a Heather creation? Doubt it...



















Don't forget about chalking, painting, and cutting out and popping with a dimensional adhesive - lot's more techniques to try and be discovered out there...... I would love to see some links to other great techniques from your blogs - so let's brainstorm together :-)

Beyond the sketch Tuesday...

OOOhhhh - it's Tuesday again already!?! I have a super sketch this week for you - remember it isn't too busy because you all have to add your own crafty additions to it all by yourselves :-) You can add as many layers, embellishments, sentiments as you wish as long as you follow the general guidelines of the sketch itself. This sketch just begs for sewing (the real kind with a machine and all) or faux stitching too. Even the polkadot style will suit it well...

heresheis :-)























Here is the sample I made using my faux metal embellishment from my tutorial posted below. I inked and fingernail distressed the edges of my squares to resemble an old quilt.


































Hmmmm - what to give ya.... How about an issue of Paper Trends? I have several duplicates that are brand new/ back issues. I always order these from ebay in lots and I end up with several duplicates in the end. This issue is the Christmas Issue from 2007 and is packed full of tons of Christmas eye candy for your crafting pleasure.... This book retails for $14.95 in the US of A - but for the winner of the sketch challenge - it is free :-)





















Happy Stamping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner....

Please join me in congratulating Jessica on winning last weeks Beyond the Sketch challenge... Here is her lovely card:





I especially like her 3D pearl paint effects and use of punches with her stamped image. And of course her Basic Grey paper is lovely as usual :-) I think the sheer ribbon was also a smart choice given the beautiful pattern of paper she chose....










Thanks for playing Jess - and I will have your blog candy in the mail this week. Even though you are not eligible to win a prize next week - I hope to see more of your beautiful creations!!

Faux Metal tutorial..

Hey ladies... Just passing on a tutorial that was brought up on our SU! demo site this week. It isn't a new one necessarily - but one maybe some of you haven't tried yourselves. I got to work with this one and used it for my sketch challenge card example for the week - so stay tuned for that....

Okay - getting started - here are the supplies you will need:
Embossing powder
powder pals tray
stamp of your choice
heat gun
Versamark ink
Punch of your choice (optional)









You are going to make 3 layers of embossed powder. I used silver - but you could do this technique with any color embossing powder you have on hand. If you want it to be metallic in nature specifically - then of course you would want to use a metallic powder of your choice....



1. Direct to paper technique with your versamark ink - giving the paper a good coating.

















2. Sprinkle your powder over the inked area.


















3. Heat emboss your first layer. Continue this embossing process 2 more times to make 3 layers total.


















4. Coat your stamp with versamark to prevent sticking - and push the stamp down into the last layer of embossing while it is still hot. You may need to rock it slightly if the image you are working with has very fine details to it....
























5. Cut around your image - or use a punch as I have done here. Punching makes for a nice clean edge and lends to the "metal embellishment" affect. The particular stamp that I used is from a retired set - but was designed to use with the SU! Designer Label punch. However, you could use any shape punch you have to coordinate with the stamp of your choice.

















Here is the finished embellishment on my card for the week - I ended up inking it with brown to match my card - but it was originally all silver :-)
















Have fun with this technique - and stay tuned for my sketch challenge update....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Beyond the sketch Tuesday....


Here is the sketch for the week crafty ladies! It is a simple one - but I bet your cards won't be :-) Remember that you can add as many layers or embies as you want as long as you follow the basic guideline of the sketch. Last weeks winner is not eligible for the prize this week - but we would still love to see your entry!
















Aha! I finally got a chance to make my own version of this circle punched fish card that was popular a couple of years back. Made the fish with a 2 inch circle punch and different sized hearts. Here is my sample:






















Now for the good stuff - some blog candy... The winner of this week's challenge will get a package of white Basic Grey Wholy Cow Rub-on's in a floral and nature theme. Great for card making or adding to your scrapbook pages... Let's play!!

And we have a winner....

I must say - everyone's cards this week were all so different and wonderful! I wish I had enough prizes for everyone!! But I had to choose one so.... Please join me in congratulating Marie on her super fabulous card for last weeks challenge:



I love the colors together and the 3D stamped image. It really suits the circle theme nicely. Awesome card Marie!!















This weeks sketch and blog candy will be posted tonight - so keep an eye out.... I just wanted to say thanks to you ladies who take the time to visit my little tiny blog and participate in my challenges. I really love seeing everyone's different take on a sketch and having you guys go wild with your creativity - the sky is the limit :-) ~Heather~

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friends don't let friends...

...let their kids play with Moonsand!!!!!

Okay - I must really be getting old and loosing my memory. It has been exactly 1 year since I let my kids play with this stuff. I remember at the time saying, "I will never let you guys play with this stuff again!". I then swiftly put it away at the top of the hall closet - thinking someday when we were outside - I might be willing to pull it out for one last hurrah.

As luck would have it - I was cleaning out the closet and had pulled everything out. Along comes the twin tornadoes (most commonly known as Jake and Sam). You would have thought it was Christmas - the way they were jumping up and down begging to play with it "just one last time". I thought to myself, "well, I do need to clean the floors today anyway - so it should be okay". Should be okay.... not so much... Here is what transpired on the table, the floor, the chairs, and tracked back and forth to the bathroom:





































Despite popular belief - Moon sand does not:
  • Make a good babysitter so mom can spend time in the kitchen making dinner.
  • Make any kind of shape other than lumps for more than 2 seconds.
  • Taste good as your son is shoving his Moonsand "Pizza made with love" in your face.
  • Come out of the crevices of your table, chairs, hair, or out from under your fingernails...
  • Look nearly as bad in photographs as it actually is. Believe me - it's not fun to clean up.
  • Evoke any kind of "beachy feel" or "space travel affect" despite the clever use of the words "Moon or "sand"....
Please - do not try this at home... You will rue the day that you ever saw the commercial and thought, "Wow, that looks like a fun idea!"...... Now off to freecycle with you dreaded mess making substance....

How sweet it is.....

....to find time to scrap!!! Thank goodness for my Friday night crops - or I'd never get a page done!! I was so excited to have been asked to be the assistant administrator to my local scrapbook group! I'll be able to host classes and such - what a great opportunity! We have 48 members and growing - so I can't wait to get some things rolling...

Here are some layouts that I made tonight. What can I say? I am in a polka dot phase... I can't help it - they are just so addicting....




These are my feet - on vacation :-)




























This is a sweet little pic of my son Jake. He was taking a small break after playing all day - I love how the pic turned out. And yes - I still use flowers and dots - even on my pages of my boys :-)

























Here is a card that I made from scraps at my crop - I need to use my scraps more often!
























This card was made for a sketch challenge at 2sketches4 you - I just love those ladies! I used the new Martha Stewart papers and stamps that I found at my local Walmart. I watercolored the stamp with my SU! Aquapainter and ink pads.






















Family milestones:

Well - call it a new take on "home schooling" - here are the crazy things that the twins have learned this week:
They have figured out that it is physically impossible to lick their own elbows.... that they also have a "crotch" - not just girls.... that superglue does not hold plastic machine guns together... that you should always check to see if you squirt gun has water in it before you point it at you mom's face while standing in the middle of the living room... that no matter how much you deny it - mom always knows when you have eaten cupcakes before dinner due to the big smear of chocolate on your nose... and most important of all - that the brownies that they thought were the "bestest in the world" did in fact contain carrots and spinach.... teehee....

Have a happy weekend crafty ones!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Beyond the sketch challenge #2.......

Hello again crafty ladies! Here is the sketch that I made for this week's challenge. Remember - you can add any layers or embellishments that you want as long as you follow the general basics of the sketch. Now go ahead - be gone with it.......




















The prize this week is a white paint pen by Sharpie (acid free of course). This is a continuous flow style pen as opposed to a white gel pen - so there is absolutely no skipping. It is great to have on hand in your arsenal of tools.... I originally saw it featured in Creating Keepsakes Magazine - and I knew I had to have one.



Here is the sample that I made for this sketch. It is based on a card that was in the SU! Fall/ Winter 2007 catalog that was featured with this hostess set (Oh so lovely). I thought the card was a bit simple though - so I had to add my "special" touches - you know - busy it up a bit....
























Please paste a link to your card in the comments section of this post. Can't wait to see your cards!