Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Anything Goes


I just wanted to pop in to share a card for the latest Paper Smooches SPARKS Challenge.  It's the 5th week in the month, so that means the theme is "Anything Goes"!  ....which also means there's no excuse not to make a card!  

Here's my card: 

For this little scene, I used the Surf and Turf stamp set by Paper Smooches.  All the images and sentiment are included in the set.  The tree is a Memory Box die and the clouds are PTI. 

My favorite part of this card is the water.  I wanted it to be see-through and considered vellum, but I thought it would be a little too opaque.  I was going for the crystal clear Pacific ocean look, not the murky Atlantic ocean :)  Blue cellophane was just the right thing.

I added some goggly eyes to the crab and stickles to the starfish to finish off the card.  

I'll also be playing along with this week's Simon Says Stamp Challenge: Anything Goes. 

That's it for me today.  Thanks so much for stopping by! 


Monday, April 29, 2013

Silhouette Cameo Lessons


I'm happy to have you back here!  I've so been missing my blog and craft time, but things have been pretty busy here.  Phase 1 of "Operation HI" -- I know, I'm a nerd!-- was completed today-- the movers came and took our first shipment of essential household items so that I can have all the important stuff (like a coffeemaker!) when we move into a house in Hawaii.  So needless to say, I've been a bit preoccupied lately.  ....But fear not-- I'm back today!  And ready to share some new crafty-goodness :) 

So I celebrated my birthday last week, and my sweet hubby gave me a Silhouette Cameo!  I could barely contain my excitement-- the crafty possibilities are endless!  *As a side note, each time I mention the word "craft" or "crafty," go ahead and take a drink...* I had a chance to try and figure out how to use it the other day and...well... let's just say it was not a successful evening.  It's actually pretty easy to use, but did require a little "orientation" period before I had any success.  I did a bit of research, read some blogs, watched some youtube videos and I think I have the *basics* figured out.  Here's a few beginner tips from a beginner: 

1. Pay attention to whether you plan to load the sticky mat or another medium into the silhouette.  If you accidentally scroll to "load media" instead of "load cutting mat," you may end up cutting the top of the mat instead of your paper.  Ask me how I know.  Also, you may want to press the pause button if something awry happens...or you could watch in horror as the top of the mat is sliced open.  Ask me how I know. 

2. That cutting mat is SUPER sticky when you first use it, which makes it difficult to pull off the paper initially.  It'll definitely get a lot less sticky after you use it a few times.  If your fortunate enough to have some curious kitties like me, you could embrace all the fur that sticks to the mat after they lay on it when your back is turned.  Or you could wipe it with an old t-shirt like normal people.  Your call. 

3. Pre-cut just the right amount of paper you'll need for your project.  Paper tends to curl *a lot* when you peel it off (although less so once the mat gets less sticky) and there's no need to waste a whole beautiful piece of 12x12 paper that you've lovingly hoarded.  Ask me how I know. 

Using just the right amount of paper.
4. Choose the right paper.  I have mostly heavier weight cardstock and my silhouette has a lot of difficulty with anything heavier than 80lb.  It has trouble cutting through the paper and is an absolute mess to peel off.  I did try increasing the blade length to accommodate a thicker paper as some suggested in various forums, but the poor silhouette made terrible noises while cutting.  I read that the "thickness" (pressure) setting would also need to be adjusted if the blade length was adjusted, but since I don't know what I'm doing, that just seemed too difficult.  After all, I just wanted to hurry up and make a project!  Ugh!  So long story short, a lot of people like American Crafts cardstock for the silhouette.  The paper fibers are tight enough so that it doesn't clog the cutting blade and the paper is thin enough to cut.  So, I went out to my local craft store and got a few colors to test...and let me tell you, it cuts like buttah!  And I'm happy to not have to experiment with changing the cut settings!  Woo!  It's a win-win! 

So there you have it: my trial-and-error tips.  But, if you managed to actually read all that, I'm sure your eyes are glazing over at this point-- so let's get to the fun stuff! 

Here's my first *successful* project with the Silhouette: 

It's a custom control panel cover!  The cut file actually comes with the Silhouette, so all you have to do is pick a favorite paper, press cut, and insert!  And then stand back and admire your hard work.  I know I did ;) 

And here's my second project.  I used the Nature Rectangle Frame from the Silhouette store and cut it out of some green paper.  I then added a few die cuts and a sentiment (PTI Mini Blooms) and it was done.  Very easy. 

Here's one last shot of the card: 


And since "Anything Goes" over at Simon Says Stamp, I'll be entering this card. 

Thanks so much for bearing with me during this hectic time!  And, of course, thanks so much for stopping by! 


Friday, April 19, 2013

What's Up?

Happy Friday, Everyone! 

Hope you had a good week!  I've had a busy week cleaning/organizing to prepare for our move-- blarg.  I did, however, have a little bit of time to make a card for this week's Lawnscaping Challenge

I was inspired by one of the recent Lawn Fawn videos on partial die cutting.  I've tried to do it before, but it never turned out very well.  Kelly Marie gives a lot of useful tips in her video, so it's definitely worth checking out if you haven't already seen it.  

Here's my card using partial die cutting: 

I used Lawn Fawn's Critter's in the Savanna and the matching dies for this card.  I started by partial die cutting the giraffe's head so that he could be extra tall.  The rest of his body is stamped directly on the card.  I used a cloud die to hide his dismembered body :)  I filled the rest of the scene in with other critters, the tree from the same set, and colored them with copics.  I then printed my custom sentiment from the computer and die cut a cloud around it.  

Of course when it comes to wild animals, I've had plenty of inspiration.  Exhibit A: Audie's new favorite perch.  This wonderful little storage item was made by my sweet Dad for Christmas.  It holds all my inks and punches and sits right on my desk for easy access.  I don't think this is what Dad had in mind when the term "dual purpose" is thrown about.  Not that Audie is bothered by this--he looks quite comfortable, doesn't he?  Almost as though he's pointing with his tail at a particular ink he wants me to use... No Audie, a splash of Pumpkin Pie is NOT what this card needs.  Or are you hungry?  Is that what you're trying to say?  It's going to be long wait for Thanksgiving...

Here's one last photo of my card--the one with the best behaved "wild" animals in my house: 


Thanks so much for stopping by! 


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Let's Celebrate

Hey Everyone,

I'm here today to share a card for the latest Mama Elephant sketch challenge.  Here's our inspiration: 

I chose to keep the same orientation as the sketch for my card:

I thought about adhering some type of embellishment, such as a button, for the 3 circles, but instead chose to use a small circle die and cut it out from the white cardstock panel.  I added a similar strip of orangey-yellow paper for a little extra color.  The side strip of patterned paper is from the Yes, Please Amy Tangerine paper pad by American Crafts.  It has tons of pretty patterns, but this striped one is a favorite :)  Before adhering everything together, I placed a Studio Calcio mask over the white panel and spritzed it with Mint Julep Mister Huey spray.  I'm really loving these ink sprays!  I then die cut a banner end and stamped the polka dot pattern from Mama Elephant's Basic Borders stamp set in a light gray ink.  Next came the sentiment, which is from Mama Elephant's Good Times stamp set.  It's stamped in Pale Tomato ink (Hero Arts)-- another new favorite of mine!  I adhered it with a small strip of washi tape.  Lastly, I added some twine and a few sequins.  To make adhering the sequins easier, I totally recommend getting a QuickStik by Lifestyle Crafts.  It makes picking up small pieces way easier!  There's a tacky end, so small stuff sticks easily to it and comes off easily too: 

See how nicely the sequin stays on the QuickStik?  This has definitely become an essential craft tool for me.  It also has a point on the other end for poking out small die cut pieces.  ...but I digress...

Here's one last shot of the card: 


Thanks so much for stopping by today! 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday Trigger

Hey There,

Just wanted to stop by and share a card for this week's Tuesday Trigger Challenge over the Moxie Fab World Blog.  Here's our inspiration photo:  

Isn't it pretty?  Here's my card: 

(*Quick, Mom, avert your eyes!*... you may be seeing this card again...)  

I used the Hero Arts background stamp "Large Flower Background" to create this card.  I stamped and embossed the image in white and then colored it in with my Inktense pencils.  I love the subtle watercolor look that can be achieved with these pencils!  After I finished coloring, I added antique linen distress ink to help the white pop off the page a bit.  Lastly, I added a few finishing touches: green satin ribbon, my sentiment, and a lace edge. 

Thanks for visiting :) 


Congrats Card

Hi Everyone! 

Hope your week is going well!  My week is made much better by the warm, sunny weather we're having!  I'm definitely ready for shorts weather!  And the perfect temperatures are making all the more excited for our impending move to Hawaii this summer-- woo! 

I wanted to share a card for the latest Lawnscaping Challenge: embossing.  

Here's my card: 

I embossed the sentiment and speech bubble in black, the rectangle pattern in clear, and I dry embossed the card base with a woodgrain embossing folder.  I started by stamping the rectangle pattern on white cardstock, which was a little dicey since I couldn't see where I was stamping!  After embossing it, I used some distress inks to create an ombre effect over the rectangles.  I added a little strip of patterned woodgrain paper to add some more color and texture to the card.  I then stamped, colored with copics, and die cut the little bird from A Birdie Told Me.  I just love him-- he's so cute and happy :)  Next, I stamped and embossed the speech bubble/sentiment and used the coordinating die to cut it out.  I also die cut another speech bubble from washi paper to add some color and give the speech bubble some dimension: 

I finished the card off with a few die cut Lawn Fawn hearts, which I cut out of thin cork paper. I think it adds even more texture to the card. 


Thanks so much for visiting today!  


Lawn Fawn Supplies: 
Stamps: Interlocking Backdrops, Home Sweet Home (sentiment), A Birdie Told Me
Dies: A Birdie Told Me dies, heart dies  

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Simple Thank You


Hope your week is going well!  I just turned in my last big project for school today and my brain is toast...ugh!  I'm glad it's turned in though, because that means I can focus on the rest of my life!  

I'm feeling a little uninspired at the moment, but I needed to make a thank you card, so here's what my tired little brain came up with: 

It was super simple to make.  I used PTI's Mini Blooms stamp set and stamped the largest flower cluster in white pigment ink.  The letters were die cut and stamped with the coordinating alphabet set in Pale Tomato ink by Hero Arts.  To adhere the letters, I ran them through my xyron.  I lined the letters up on a ruler in order to get the spacing correct and to ensure everything was straight:  

This way, I could move my sentiment around and find the perfect place for it.  Just hold down the top of the letters on the paper and peel the ruler off for perfect placement every time!  I finished the card off with a few gems in the flower centers. 


Thanks for stopping by!  Hope to see you back soon! 

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