Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Postcards - Prepping the Bases

I'm still working on organizing my studio. I know. It's been about 4 months since my stuff arrived and about a month since I've really been creating on a regular basis. Most of my things are in places, but since I've started working in the studio, I've realized I need some major tweaking to improve my workflow (pictures of the 'workflow' tomorrow!)

Stamp storage and lighting are at the top of my list. When that happens you may actually be able to watch projects from start to finish! I love watching others create and I'm excited about sharing my how-tos with you!

Okay...onto the postcards bases. I followed a similar process for my first iHanna Swap. You can see those posts here:

I started out with some glossy 4.25"x5.5" postcards I had around. (I have ALOT of these. I used to be a SU! demo years ago and had hung on to these just for such an occasion! I used these in 2011, too. I did say 'ALOT'!)

I had already started making bases when I remember to take the photos!

I used some fine grit sandpaper and sanded the cards in one direction and then the other. I wasn't trying to take off the entire layer; I wanted to give the layer some tooth so that the next layers would stick.

The sanding left this great crosshatch design. Very Vintage.
Now for the first layer: gesso. I save old gift cards, credit cards, and even those thin cardboard coupon/discount cards. They are fabulous for laying down a thin layer of paint, gesso, gels, etc. Scoop a dab of gesso onto the postcard and then use the gift card to spread it out.

With the gesso I use (whatever's on sale at my local craft store) I have to use a very thin layer, if I want it to be smooth. Otherwise, when it dries it will have cracks. I used thin layers first and then varied it a bit on the last layer.

Don't worry about cleaning off the card. It just adds more variation.
Be sure to let each layer dry in between for the best layered effect. It usually only takes about 10 minutes, if it's thin. When dragging the card to spread the gesso, the edges left lines and marks. Leave them! They add great texture and interest.

Love this layer!
Gesso layers: done! Notice that I didn't completely cover the original layer. It's peeking through! Amazeballs, right?! The postcard is already looking kind of artsy.

Now I wanted to add some text. Here's my En Francais stamp from Stampin' Up! It is my most used script stamp.

I used Archival Ink because I knew I would be adding more water-based mediums and didn't want the ink to smear. However, I did want the script to be lighter and heavier, so when I inked up the stamp I randomly pounced it on the rubber.

The gesso layers are already textured, so when I stamped it the script varied. I stamped it once and then turned and stamped it again without reinking. Then I set it aside, did the rest of the postcards and then took a second look. If it needed more, I added more.

I put the decal on upside down!
The bases took about two hours (I made about 20 bases.) including dry time. I worked assembly line style. I did the first layer on the first card, then moved to the second card, etc. By the time I got to the last card the first card was almost dried. Then I repeated the process for the next layers. This really works well when prepping the bases (or any kind of project you are working on in multiples!)

Does it look anything like it did? Gorgeous transformation!
I really enjoyed prepping the bases. I watched a few episodes of Masterchef and tried not to think too much about it and just work the process.

This is definitely a project you just need to get busy and do it! You may be surprised at just how good your bases look! And just wait until you add more layers...

More postcard goodness coming soon!

2013 (Autumn) iHanna DIY Postcard Swap

Inky hugs,

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sentimental Sundays #182: Winter Wonderland

Welcome to another week closer to Christmas! I'm starting to feel the time crunch...but only because I  always want to be done a week or two before and I'm usually that crazy lady the night before picking up a few things! lol

Well, you don't want to miss the newest challenge on the Sentimental Sundays Challenge Blog! (We're having a DT CALL, too!)

This week's Sponsor is:
Meljen's Designs Challenge Blog
Meljen's Designs Store
Donating: 4 images, winners choice

This week's challenge is:
Winter Wonderland
(plus a sentiment)

Meljen's is having a 50% off Holiday Sale! If you love cute & whimsical, you don't want to miss out! Melissa shared a few images with our DT and I chose Bitty Christmas Tree Bears. Along with the sketch from RETRO SKETCHES my Winter Wonderland looks a bit like this:

LOVE embossing enamel! It adds such great texture...and I LOVE texture. This is another product from Stampendous: Frantage - Shabby White. It's chunky white with bits of gold and gold glitter. Depending on how long you heat the enamel, you can have smooth and shiny or touchable glam! Perfect for my tree!

Although, true CAS is not my style. I often attempt CAS hoping to be able to grow my crafting skills.   I think I did a pretty good job of staying close to the original sketch this time. Only a few layers.

And what is a Winter Wonderland without glitter?! I added touches of glitter to the snow and to the tops of the flags. My daughter has already claimed this card for her teacher! 

Have you seen my postcards from the Autumn iHanna DIY Postcard Swap? Tomorrow I'll show you how I made the bases.

Inky Hugs,

Entering these challenges:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

2013 iHanna DIY Postcard Swap - The Quickie. More to Come!

embossing powder, dimensional pearls, gesso, Gelatos, washi...oh my!

Hello, Friends!
I am so excited to share my postcards from the 2013 iHanna DIY Postcard Swap! This year I swapped 10+1 cards; this is my second iHanna Postcard Swap. If you are interested in exchanging postcard-size pieces of artsy goodness, be sure to sign up for Hanna's newsletter to be one of the first to know when she opens the next swap!

Instead of posting all of the cards in one post, I'm going to spread the love around a bit and share a couple at a time over the next few weeks with detailed posts. (I will upload all of the cards to my flickr & instagram accounts this weekend.)

Today I'm sharing one card to get started. Be sure to stop by Tuesday to see how I prepped all the bases and my basic process.

I can't even tell you how much fun it was to make these cards! I am still amazed how the layers build up and the finished product is always better for it. This year I signed up at the last minute, so I was a little pressed for time. I decided to use the same steps for each card and vary the details.

I always wonder what the process looks like for a piece of art. Since I'm not quite set up for video, yet, I took a few pictures, so YOU can see where I started. Above you see the base with scribbles of Gelatos. Not much to look at.

I chose a few colors of sprays/mists and spritzed the cards and used my fingers to moosh it all around. (I'm pretty sure that's a technical term...) Looks better, right?

After letting it dry. I added quotes and phrases using alphabet & other stamps and embossed them with black embossing powder. LOVE the texture and the shine the embossing adds!

(Check out this ornament I made last year...or This ATC - embossing enamels, powders, and crackle accents can make a good project great!)

After the stamping and embossing, I used Adirondack Dimensional Pearls to add more color, shine and glimmer. I squirted a dot or two and then used my fingers to spread it like paint. Using multi-medium gel I added various Frantage Mica Fragments where ever I felt I needed some glam.

After all of that I still feel it needed a bit more, so out came the washi tape! A little bit here, a little there...done! (I wrapped the washi around the edge on to the backside for interest. Sorry, forgot to get a picture!)

Here is the stack before I mailed them... Make sure to click on the pictures in this post to see more details. Feel free to leave a comment, if you have any questions or feedback! And don't forget to check back on Tuesday to see how I created the first couple of layers...

2013 iHanna Postcard Swap (Autumn)

Inky hugs,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sentimental Sundays #180 - Warm & Cozy

These weeks are just whizzing by and this week's Sentimental Sundays challenge is spot on with the weather here... Last week I was sharing how much I enjoyed the Fall and this week I'm thankful for warm bathrobes, fuzzy slippers and a fireplace that's ready when I am!

This week's Sponsor is:
Donating: 5 images, winners choice
This week's challenge is:
Warm and Cozy
(plus a sentiment)

(Did I mention that Sentimental Sundays is having a Design Team call? Get all of the deets HERE.)

This week I needed an image with a scarf and although this image isn't wintry, I think she is adorable! Mayzy's Digi Dancer - Line Dance gives warm fuzzies!

I am loving all the Thank You cards out in blog world! The holidays help people remember to express their gratitude and I have lots to be grateful for, too. I'm always in need of another card...

Have you been playing along with any of the gratitude memes? This year I've been keeping it close to home with a project that the family is helping with. Check back later this week to see it!

This cowgirl is layered up! She's moving and I wanted to make sure she didn't look flat. I fussy cut her head and used foam to lift up the tails of her braids. And how could I not lift her boot and keep her kickin'?!

Alright...it's your turn! 
Entering this card into these challenges:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Sentimental Sundays #179 - Falling into Autumn

I am loving East Coast Fall!

Check out this beautiful cut file by Fred She Said Designs! Love it!
I didn't realize how much I missed the colors and believe it or not...the chill in the air! My kids are trying to hang onto summer as long as they can, but they don't mind indulging in hot chocolate with whipped cream in the mornings!

With all these lovely fall leaves and nippy noses, it's a perfect time for the

This week our challenge is sponsored by:

Donating: $15 Gift Voucher 

This week's theme is:
Falling into Autumn
(plus a sentiment)

and I paired this with the challenge from Chromatic Craze:

plus a couple of Fred She Said designs and came up with...

(The brown and orange are obvious, right? The westie is colored with gray Copics and there's green on the leaves.)
Oh. My. Is this not the cutest little furry face?! This is WINTER WESTIE. When you purchase this darling image you not only get this digi, but one without the scarf and even a colored version - print, cut and paste! (So, as I've mentioned before, my kids find all kinds of fun stuff on YouTube. Check out this cuteness - The Ermahgerd Song (Puppy Dog) - you can tell this guy really loves his puppy!)

LOVE the leaves. Colors + shine.
I finally got my Sizzix eClips unpacked and wouldn't you know it...the cutting mats were NOT in the same box! Ugh. That's another story...but I did find a solution and downloaded the Four Point Star Cut File. GORJUSS!!! Just watching my eClips make magic appear...I saved the star bits for confetti. 

It's perfect.

The cardstock underneath the star layer was colored using sprays and the following technique.
Watch the video hereDIY Autumn Leaves Tutorial.

(I know...it was my first video. Please be kind! Once I get the studio situated I will post more video tutorials!)

And do you see my leaves? Click on that picture above. LOVE. Ink, kraft cardstock and my favorite add-on *embossing powder* in copper. The copper ep adds just the right amount of shine and texture. These leaves are die cut using a Tim Holtz die.

Texture + layers!
Most of the time I like my projects, sometimes I really like them. I love this one. All the yummy texture and the layout is so versatile - CAS or layers - I can see myself making a few versions of this!

Okay...thanks so much for hanging out with me today! Be sure to link up your project to the Sentimental Sundays Challenge. If you do, leave me a comment here and I'll come visit you!

Entering these challenges:
Cards Galore Challenge - Animals
Chromatic Craze - see above
The Stamping Boutique #68 - Fall Colors
Catered Crop - Washi Tape

Inky hugs,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lollyrot & Card Makin' Mamas #76 | Thankful Tidings

This is a great Friday!

The day after Halloween always feels like the real beginning of the holiday season to me. After all the craziness with costumes and candy, I love having a holiday that focuses on gratitude and blessings.

Hello November.

See the glitter? I just HAD to add a little sparkle to those leaves!
Today I'm thankful that Maria of Lollyrot Illustration asked me to be a Guest Designer in October and  I was able to share two projects using her designs. What? You haven't seen the second project? Take a look...

If you haven't stopped by Lollyrot Illustration, do so now! She has the most adorable images and a YouTube channel (lollyrot7) and as if that wasn't enough, she shares her personal art, too. 

Whenever I see an image I want to use I make a few notes: what's most obvious about the image? what not-so-obvious details are there? is there an unexpected way for me to use this image? After all, I want to get the most out of my supplies, right?

The first thing I noticed about Lollypie Pumpkin is her pumpkin shape and leaves. This image is too cute to only use for the fall holidays, so I started brainstorming what I could do to make her not so 'pumpkin.'

I love the look of paper piecing, especially when layering, but not the time it takes to fussy cut the details.

I love coloring with my alcohol markers.


Most of the time I use whatever details are available in an image, but this time I decided to use my markers to add some variety. The fall always brings gorgeous textures and fabrics...plaids, corduroy, felt, flannel...and polka dots are good all year round!

Colored in the image, used my blender to move some of the color and create some fun fabric! Now I can use her any time of the year, just by changing up the colors and adding a few tiny embellishments to her hair.

What do you think?

And...it's time for a new challenge at the
so head over and link up your Thankful Tidings (sentiment required) card and join the fun!

Challenges I'd like to enter this card into:

Have a great weekend!

Inky hugs,

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sentimental Sundays #178: Happy Birthday - Monochromatic

I can't believe today is Halloween...this year is flying by!

It seems as if I am slowly gaining some creative momentum. Definitely not as quickly as I would like, but getting back into the habit of making stuff is like anything else...you gotta get on the bike and put in some time & effort! So here I am...more often than not a little frustrated, but making magical messy mayhem a card at a time!

This week's challenge at the Sentimental Sundays Challenge Blog is Monochromatic Birthday. (Hurry! This challenge ends Saturday evening!) One of my favorite card challenges. Monochromatic can be CAS or lots of layers - whatever you like best.

I decided it would be Clean and Simple.

Lighting here is so different. Decided it was better to get an ok photo up rather than no photo!

The biggest issue I've had with moving is trying to figure out how to organize my stamps. Most of them are still in the packing boxes, so finding anything is a pain! Lucky for me, these stamps were on top...(of course, maybe because one of them was bought in the last few months! lol)

This photo does not do the card justice! The base is SU! Very Vanilla...so much prettier IRL.
The steps were pretty easy. I wanted to layer stamps instead of papers, so I went through my ink pads and found all my purples/lavenders/purple-ish colors. Apparently, I like these colors! I used a piece of printer paper to practice stamping the layers to make sure one color wouldn't overpower another. I ended up with three.

1. Inked up the 'woodgrain' first using SU! Perfect Plum, stamped off (to get a lighter image) and then stamped on my designer paper.
2. Inked up the flowers using Versamark Watermark ink, then immediately after inked up with SU! Elegant Eggplant and then stamped over the woodgrain. Cover with clear embossing powder and melt.
3. The sentiment is inked in Dusty Concord Distress Ink and clear embossed.
4. Lay out the paper pieces. Adhere the purple strip to the card base. Adhere the stamped designer paper panel using foam.

That's it.

I've already made plans to use this design for sympathy cards. Monochromatic, understated without being dreary, duplicatable in any color scheme. Perfect card for those times when it's hard to know what to say.

Here are a few challenges I'd like to enter this card into:

Inky hugs,

Stamps: Stampin' Up! Serene Silhouettes, Truly Grateful, Afterthoughts (Hostess Set)
Paper: designer paper from my scraps; Stampin' Up! Very Vanilla cardstock, Elegant Eggplant cardstock
Ink: Stampin' Up! Perfect Plum, Elegant Eggplant; Tim Holtz Dusty Concord

Friday, October 25, 2013

Guess who I'm Guest Designing for???

I'm so thrilled to have been asked to guest design with Maria's adorable images! Here's another peek of Lollypie B-day...

I told you. She's adorable!

Visit Lollyrot Illustration to see more Lollyrot projects and, of course, to get your very own cutie-patootie Lollypie!

Have a great weekend!

Inky hugs,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sentimental Sundays #177 - Happy Birthday: Shaped or Easel Card

Hello, Friends!

Enamel Dots, Bling, DIY Pennant

It's the 3rd week of the Sentimental Sundays' Month Long Birthday Celebration!!! I'm happy to say, my studio is finally mostly organized! Still workingo on the stamps... (If you've ever had to move your studio/craft room, you know how difficult it can be to really work on a creative project when you don't know where your tools and bits and pieces are!)

Have you ever taken a creative break? Because of our summer move, settling into the new house & area, the broken pipes in the wall, these last few months have been a necessary hiatus from most things crafty, colorful and inky. Insert sad face...and clean fingers.

Distress Inks, Mists, White Embossed Script
(En Francias is one of my most used Stampin' Up stamps - sorry, I think it's retired...)
So glad that's over! I hope to be able to stay in this house for y.e.a.r.s!

Okay, back to the pretty stuff! Shaped or easel card...couldn't make up my mind, so why not both?! I used the Tim Holtz tag die and cut 3 tags. After some fiddling and scoring (what would I do without my Scor-Pal and ATG?) I had myself a tag-shaped easel card!

Still trying to figure out where the lightbox will go...
It did take longer than usual, more do-overs and a few more pieces of chocolate, but Boy, did it feel good to put ink on paper!

Love seam binding with jute twine!

Silver Frost Creative Inspirations Paint upcycled an old bronze chipboard star

There are great sponsors and you don't want to miss a chance to win crafty goodness just for linking up something you made! Be sure to stop by Sentimental Sundays...can't wait to see what you've created!

Joining these challenges:
Creative Inspirations - Anything Goes
          used Silver Frost on the star
Sparkle & Sprinkle - Anything Goes with Glitter, Embossing Powder or Flocking
          The background script is embossed in white.
Craft-Dee BowZ - Anything Goes include a handmade bow
          Bows made with seam binding and jute twine

See you again soon!

Inky hugs,

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WOYWW #29 (227) - Making Progress

Happy Wednesday!

(Dare I say, "It's HUMP DAY!" out loud? Didn't know about the Geico commercial until after a trip through a McDonald's drive thru one morning...my children were happy to educate me with the remix. Lucky me. lol)

Another edition of WOYWW...check it out, so you can play along or just peek at everyone's creative places! There is so much eye candy to be had!

Here are a few pictures of the studio. I've stolen a few moments to do a card or two, but can't wait to get back to creating every day!

Thanks to my favorite guy I've got pegboard, rails and shelves up! Still a mess, but now it's more of an organized mess! Way easier to attempt a project when I have an idea of where the supply/tool is...

The rails + buckets are working great to sort tools & embellishments.

My friend, Donna, inspired the design for my twine 'board'. Thanks!

Command Hooks + *cheap* Dry Erase Board = Color Coordinated Storage | LOVE

Looking forward to being able to share details and more of what's working for me next week. Fingers crossed there might even be a project or two!

Inky hugs,

Monday, October 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Calypso!

Calypso is having a birthday today!

We are so excited to share with you a Surprise Birthday Blog Hop!!!
Every stop along the hop has a surprise birthday card or project for Calypso created by members of two Design Teams... 

Calypso keeps all of us so organized. She is such an inspiration to all of us and is always right there with unfailing support, compassion and patience for any of the team members.  
Her talents abound and we adore her!

Please join us in this
* Birthday Hop for Calypso * 
Be sure to stop by her blog at the end to wish her the Happiest of Birthdays!

Here's my card (making it's way across the country!):

Who doesn't love a birthday celebration...especially when it includes fun people, washi tape, stars, buttons, twine and embossing enamel?!
(not to mention a fabulous blog hop!)

I enjoyed making this card for Calypso and sent it on its way full of hugs, joy and laughter!

Don't want to keep you too long, so head on over to 
Doreen's blog for the next project!

Be sure to comment on the Birthday Hop post on one or both blogs 
One person will be randomly chosen (on October 8th) from all comments collected from both blogs to receive a prize in the mail.  
The prize will be sent to you and we welcome you from
* anywhere in the world! *   

And just in case you get lost, here's the lineup:

Angi of Sentimental Sundays....
Doreen of Sentimental Sundays...
Vicky  of Scribbles Designs...
Jennifer  of Scribbles Designs...
Archana of Sentimental Sundays & Scribbles Designs...
Deanne of Scribbles Designs...
Sharla  of Scribbles Designs...
Julie of Sentimental Sundays...
Karolina of Sentimental Sundays...
Lisa of Scribbles Designs...
Cely of Scribbles Designs...
Sam of Scribbles Designs...
Tracey of Sentimental Sundays...
Nick of Scribbles Designs...
Sandy of Sentimental Sundays & Scribbles Designs...
(Your last stop is CALYPSO, so you can wish her a Happy Birthday!)

Inky hugs,