Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Birthday!

Seems birthdays are popping up like the weeds are! I am trying to be better at sending birthday cards this year.  This card was made from a background that I made myself.  I hope you like it! 

What I Used to Make my Card:
White Card Base
Watercolor Paper
Kaleidacolor Pad in Spectrum
Red Lead Paperworks Story Stamps "A Handmade Story" (discontinued)
Embossing Fluid
White Detail Embossing Powder from Simon Says Stamp
Clean Color Markers in Violet, Light Violet, Persian Blue, Orange, Pink, Carmine Red, May Green and Yellow
Paper Smooches Wise Dies, Streamers, #KFBD029
Quietfire Designs Happy Birthday Plain & Simple, #5899
Pop Dots

I've seen so many cards using white embossing powder and watercolor that I had to try it.  It took me a while to find a flower that was small enough to work in the design I wanted and, unfortunately, the stamp set is discontinued.  I'm sure you have something you could use; it doesn't have to be a flower. I struggled a bit with placement as it's hard to see where you have already stamped with the embossing ink.  Even with the slight pink tint mine has it wasn't easy.  Luckily, I didn't over stamp and once the white detail embossing powder was on and heated up I was very pleased with the background.  I used the tried and true scribble and watercolor technique but instead of using a detail water brush I used an actual brush.  I don't know the number (most of my brushes are so old all distinguishing marks are long gone) but it was tiny.  I then added more color to the inside of the flower and blended it out a bit.  You can see what I mean in the photo above.

Another Look
After the background was done I didn't do anything with it for a while.  I worked so hard on it, and while I totally enjoyed coloring the flowers, I didn't want to use it as just any old card.  Then I realized that a very good friend had a birthday coming up on St. Patrick's Day (that'd be NanaConnie - Visit her blog and say Happy Birthday - I'll wait.)  Perfect use of the watercolor background I made! I just mounted the panel on a white card and then made the Happy Birthday banner using a Kaleidacolor pad, my MISTI and the Paper Smooches dies.  I just have to say, while Kaleidacolor pads may initially seem expensive compared to other ink pads I have had my Spectrum pad since I started stamping.  That's about 19 years now and I have never had to reink it or had any problem with it.  Pretty good deal if you ask me.  Anyway, I attached the banner die cut on the card using Pop Dots.  

I loved making this background so much I ordered some stamp sets specifically for the little flowers and leaves - they should be so cool using this technique! Another one I've seen around lately is using colored pencils on Kraft cardstock. I haven't tried that one yet but the results I've seen are spectacular.  Thank you so much for stopping by - I appreciate your visits, comments and support.  Did you know I am on Pinterest? And, I am trying to figure out Instagram (yes, I am feeling old right about now.)  Let's connect! Fondly, Christi

PS: Happy St. Patrick's Day :) 

I am entering my Happy Birthday card in the following challenges:
Make My Monday - #41, Colors of the Rainbow
Die Cuttin' Diva's - #308, Rainbow
Inky Chicks - #80, Flowers
The Flower Challenge - #6, Anything Goes w/ Flowers (#2)
STAMPlorations Monthly Challenge - (M) Sketch and/or Spring (I used Spring) 
DL ART Thankful Thursday - #200, Flowers (#2)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Have a Beautiful Day!

My friend, Zoe (who taught me how to blog, how to be on a Design Team, how to run a blog and basically everything else when I was such a newbie) is having a birthday in the beginning of April.  Since she lives across the big pond I've already mailed this card out and I'm hoping she doesn't peek! I hope you like the design ~

What I Used to Make my Card:
Sparkly Green Card Base (out of a kit from years ago)
Unity Stamp, ...bunches of love, UK-669A (739)
Ranger Archival ink in Jet Black
Distress Markers in Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, Mermaid Lagoon, Festive                                 Berries, Ripe Persimmon, Carved Pumpkin, Lucky Clover and                             Wilted Violet
Water Brush
Watercolor Paper
Craft Mat (Enabler alert - this link will take you to a cheap source for mats)

I stamped the beautiful flowers image on some watercolor paper using Jet Black ink.  I scribbled my markers on my craft mat (which I have to tell you, was massively cheaper at the link above. I got enough to cut into 4 separate mats and now I have them everywhere) and picked up the color with my detail water brush. 

Close Up of the Flowers
One thing I have learned using the water brush is that after you test the brush, ensuring the water is flowing, be aware of the amount of water left on the tip.  I've soaked away many a color because I dipped the very flowing water brush onto the color and then 
the color on the paper was so washed out it wasn't visible. I always have a piece of paper towel handy when I am using watercolor mediums - I'd rather have the brush too dry than too wet.  Then you have to wait for it to dry (did you know that drying your colors between adding more works wonderfully when using Distress Markers? Even if you are adding more of the same color the color builds better on dry paper. Disclaimer: Each water color medium works differently! Know the properties of the one you are using!)

After I was done with the flowers, I used my MISTI to center the sentiment.  I
Just another look
have to confess, when the image isn't even (like this floral spray) the sentiment never looks properly placed to me.  It makes me nuts.  I literally have to ask another opinion, or I just go with my gut.  The images are hand drawn and that's why I like them, because they aren't perfect.  Why do I expect my creations using those images will be perfect? Another age old question I think all crafters struggle with one way or another.  Enough prattling on.  I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial and that you are tempted to bring out some flowers and play a bit! Fondly, Christi

I would like to enter my Have a Beautiful Day card in the following challenges:
The Artistic Stamper (March) - Spring
Do-Al(l) Kreatives (March) - #3, Spring
Paradise of Stamps (March) - #54, Spring
The Flower Challenge (March) - #6, Anything Goes 

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Bit 'o Green
City Crafter - #353, Spring is Around the Corner
613 Avenue Create - (March) #195, AG w/ Optional Twist: Use Rubber 
Stamping Sensations - (March) Close to Nature
Alphabet Challenge - Z is for Zero Embellishments 
Art Impressions - #203, Let's Watercolor
DL Art Thankful Thursday - #200, Flowers 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Irish Blessing

Happy March Everyone! This month at House of Cards you can use the following colors and/or Make a Scene.  Look at those moo cows! How cute are they!

Make a Scene and/or Use Color Palette 

I am mostly Irish (in fact, I have a family tree that dates back to the 1500's) and I have had this Irish Blessing stamp since 1999.  It's one of my oldest, but most cherished stamps.  I really only use it for St. Patrick's Day and I should break it out more often; it really is a lovely poem. 

What I Used to Make my Card:
Vanilla Card Base (square 5 1/4" x 5 1/4")
DCWV Linen Closet Stack (I have the OLD one, picture below)
Irish Blessings Stamp, PSX, K-2483
Hero Arts MMH January, heart die (sold out)
Martha Stewart Medium Scroll Heart Punch (discontinued but available)
Poppy Stamps Dianna Border Die, #1029 (retired but available)
Green and Gold Glitter Cardstock
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black

Before I get into the tutorial on how I made this card I have to share about the heart on the upper Dianna Border (the green glitter die cut.)  I knew I wanted to put a heart in the middle of the border and I happen to have the Hero Arts January My Monthly Hero kit still on my desk (shocking! Not really) so I decided to try one of the heart dies included in the kit.  I cut the heart out of gold glitter card and it fit perfectly on the border.  I felt it was kind of blah, so I fished out the Martha Stewart punch.  I have had this punch for ages and have never used it but I thought it would work to spice up my card. So, I punched out the heart in the same green glitter card and the hearts fit almost perfectly!!! I mean, it was like they were MADE for each other! I was SO excited but since this card wasn't posting until this month, I had no one to with whom to share this with, until now.  The Man didn't share my enthusiasm, but I know all of you will!
Another look at the card. If you enlarge
this picture you can see the texture of the dots.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, back to your regularly scheduled program.  I made a square card out of vanilla card and cut the dotted panel out of the DCWV Linen Stack.  You can't really tell, but the dots on the panel are raised just a bit.  I stamped my sentiment on a piece of scrap vanilla card and trimmed it down to fit in the middle of the card.  Then the border and the heart were die cut, and the over heart punched out.  I adore how this came out; it is so sparkly in person and I am awestruck by how cool that heart looks.  When things come together and look even close to what I picture in my mind it is a good day! 

Thanks for reading and I do hope you will join us at House of Cards! Grab your cow stamps, your green goodies from your stash and make some cards.  We would love to see what the prompt inspires you to create.  Fondly, Christi

PS: Here is the picture of the DCWV Linen Closet Stack I use.  Seems that this one is retired and they have come out with another one, so if you are looking for the papers I used be sure you get the "old" Linen Stack.  If you do an internet search for the stack, you can find it in a multitude of places. 

I am entering my Irish Blessing card in the following challenges:
Frilly & Funkie - Welcome Spring
Work it Wednesday - Use the Color or Word Green
Paperminutes - #476, Spring
Crafting by Design - Anything Goes
Crafty Cardmakers - #183, Go Green

Thursday, February 23, 2017

It's irritating when. . .

A good blogland friend of mine has been struggling with some health issues so I decided to make her a get well card.  I recently bought this Newton's Nook Designs set from another blogger who was getting rid of it and ever since I got it, I've had this type of card in the back of my head.  It feels good to get it out and my head appreciates the room I've made :) 

What I Used to Make my Card:
Kraft Card Base
Tim Holtz Ideaology Motif Paper - wood grain (discontinued but available)
DCWV Chalk Stack
Ellison LetterEase Helvetica Medium White Letter Stickers (discontinued)
Distress Paint in Gathered Twigs
Computer Generated Text
Newton's Nook Naughty Newton Stamp Set
Newton's Nook Naughty Newton Die Set
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
DCWV Le Tres Chic Stack 12 x 12 (Amazon link but available elsewhere)
Clean Color Markers in Mid Brown, Beige and Oatmeal
White Gel Pen

The best thing about this card, aside from the fact that it is a get well card is that I got to use something old (very. very old) and something brand new to me in making it.  The white letter stickers have got to be at least 11 years old and as I said prior, the Naughty Newton set is new to me.  I love when I can use up some old stash to make room for some new stuff.  I started this card by
Another look 
stamping the kitties on cardstock in Jet Black ink.  I set them aside and started to brainstorm how I was going to make the chalkboard; I knew there was no way I was going to write on it as I definitely would have messed up somehow, so I computer generated the front and the saying on the inside.  I don't typically write on the inside of my cards but this one kinda needed a bit more explanation.  I used the DCWV Chalk stack for the actual board and wrote the lead part of the sentiment with the Ellison stickers.  I attached the second half at the bottom ensuring I had plenty of room for the scratches.  I wanted the chalk board to look like a chalk board so I dug out the wood grain pattern from the Motif paper and colored it with the Gathered Twigs paint.  I stuck it under my trusty tile to dry and stay flat.  

While that was drying I went back to the kitties.  The kitties that I chose to use already have scratches attached to their claws but I wanted to make sure the
The inside of the card
marks were visible against the black board so after I die cut them, I carefully trimmed the scratches off.  I colored the kitties using Clear Color Markers, but, since I cut them out of regular cardstock and not watercolor paper I just colored them lightly. 

Once the Distress Paint was dry, I used my CAMEO to cut a square in a piece of the wood grain paper so it would frame the chalkboard. I attached the chalk paper behind the frame and set it aside to cut the background paper out of the Le Tres Chic paper stack.  I wanted something that would give the card some interest but not overwhelm the elements.  I think the Kraft colored flowers on the light blue is a perfect fit.  I trimmed two pieces of the background paper and adhered one to the front of the card and one to the inside of the card.  I put the chalkboard and kitties on the front of the card and used a white gel pen to ink in the scratches.  

I hope you enjoyed my little "feel better" card and I hope my friend enjoys it when she gets it :) Fondly, Christi 

I would like to enter my card in the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Rubber Dance - Layers
Die Cuttin' Divas - #305, Animals
Cuttlebug Mania - It's a Zoo Out There
OLLCB - #222, Die Cuts

Monday, February 13, 2017

Love is in the Air (literally)

OK, so I said my last post was going to be my last Valentine's Day post so let's just say this is an anytime card.  Fabulous.  While searching through challenges to find appropriate ones to enter my other cards in, I noticed a few where the theme was "Love is in the Air".  Ever since I noticed the theme, I just could not get it out of my head! I composed the card over and over in my thoughts until tonight I just HAD to make it.  

What I Used to Make my Card:
Pink Square Card Base (5 1/4" x 5 1/4")
All Night Media Stamp, Catnip, #838D (retired)
Hot Air Balloon, Silhouette File #26040
Scrabble Alphabet - Ma Vinci's Reliquary (closed)

Wendy Vecchi Red Geranium Ink

1/2" Scallop Square Punch, Marvy Uchida (retired)

Ranger Ink in Jet Black 
All of the cardstock is from my stash

This was a very quick card to make; it took me the longest to choose an alphabet to spell out "love" with.  What I did first was cut the hot air balloon out using the file from the Silhouette Store. I used dark gray cardstock for the outline of the balloon, light brown for the basket and pinkish purple for the actual balloon.  I went through my cat stamp stash and found one that I thought would fit best with the size of the balloon. I eyed where the basket
Just another peek
would be in relation to the card and stamped the kitty directly on the cardstock. I chose the grayish blue with white specks to seem like it is night time. The balloon was assembled and glued over the cat so all you see is the top half of his body, and how he is joyfully gazing up at the balloon (I don't know why it's a he.) The scrabble letters were stamped with Jet Black onto white card, punched out and glued to the balloon.  I took the panel with everything on it and attached that to a pink square card.  

I have had the alphabet stamps and the kitty stamp for years.  It amazes me when I think how long I've been stamping because I typically get bored with things quickly.  I've never been bored with stamping and having all the new goodies that come out continually helps keep things interesting.  Just don't look at my credit card bills <grin>.  Thank you so much for your visit ~ fondly, Christi

I would like to enter my card in the following challenges:
Glitter 'n Sparkle - #226, Love is in the Air
Paper Creators - (M) Love is in the Air
Dragonfly Journeys - #85, Love is in the Air
Cardz for Gals - #40, Love is in the Air
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Cute
Come and Get It Challenges - Love is in the Air
Naughty or Nice Challenge - (M) #36, Love is in the Air Optional Colors

Love You So Much

I've had this Hero Arts set for quite a while but for some reason this is the first time that I've used it.  I think the trend of cutting the die cut word and making it pop is so fun and now I had to try it.  

What I Used to Make my Card:
Mottled Pink Base Card
Subtle Shimmer Pink Cardstock
Hero Arts Love Stamp & Cut, DC175
Tim Holtz/Sizzix Labels, 660060
Hero Arts Strawberry Ink
Darice Embossing Folder Mini Hearts 1219-223
Pink Scrap Card from stash
Sakura Quickie Glue Pen

I've had all of the pink cardstock in my stash for ages and I honestly have no idea where I got them, I think I got the Subtle Shimmer Pink out of an old kit. It's really pretty in real life and I hope I captured some of the beauty in my pictures.

The first thing I did was cut out the word "love" four times out of the subtle shimmer pink card.  I glued them all together, which was easier than I thought it would be since I typically have trouble lining things up.  I used the glue pen to stick them together.  If you do a lot of intricate work, use any type of cut outs or little embellishments on your projects you HAVE to get one of these pens! It is
This picture shows some of the
dimension on the card
so easy to get the glue where you want it and the adhesive sticks forever. There is nothing more disappointing than to get a card that has fallen apart because the adhesive failed (well, maybe a few things, but not many.)

So, I have my "love" cut out set aside and I embossed a piece of pink card with
This is the mottled pink
the Darice embossing folder and trimmed it down.  I made the card base out of 
some mottled pink card I found in my stash.  I attached the embossed layer and then attached the little sentiment that I stamped and die cut. Lastly, the layered "love" was glued on and the card was done.  The technique of popping the word die was easier than I thought and the look is rather striking; I hope the trend sticks around a while longer. 

Another look at the card. The colors
 aren't as true as in the top card.
Thank you SO much for visiting my blog. I hope I inspired you to try something new or play with something old. And I don't know about you, but I am burned out on Valentine's Day. I think I've seen enough love and hearts for a while! Fondly, Christi

I would like to support these challenges by entering my Love You So Much Card:
a2z Scrapbooking Monthly Challenge - (M) Any Shade of Red (entry #2)
The Artistic Stamper - (M) Love Hearts 
Die Cut Diva's - (M) Use Red or Pink
Mod Squad Challenge - Use Wet or Dry Embossing (Texturize)
Crafty Cardmakers - #182, Add Some Texture
A Blog Named Hero - (M) CAS Challenge (entry #2)

Very Special thanks to my editor, Nana Connie <3 
Need to find some challenges? Take a look at Challenges for Days - the easy to read, easy to use challenges blog.  We are always looking for new challenges and new people to help out. We'd appreciate it if you'd help us spread the word! 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Black & White Valentine

One of my favorite things about crafting is using unexpected colors or materials to create something.  I'm not a big fan of pink (I'm sorry!) and I didn't want something too "lovey" or "frilly" on the Valentine I was making for my honey. So, what better combination than black and white?

What I Used to Make my Card:
White Card Base
Spellbinders Draping Vines Elements #S5-234
Sentiment Stamp from Great Impressions, #C230 (I think it's discontinued)
Tim Holtz/Sizzix Alterations. Labels, #660060
Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black
Black Cardstock
Pop Dots
Showing some dimension

This was a very easy card to make and I feel that the monochromatic color scheme is very elegant.  First, I die cut the flourishes using the Spellbinders set, out of black card, and then attached them onto the card base. Then I stamped the sentiment on some white card, die cut it with one of the Labels in the Tim Holtz/ Sizzix set and Pop Dotted it onto the card.  This is the first time I am using the Draping Vines set and I can see that I will be using that set a lot! 

So simple but striking.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a fabulous February! Hugs, Christi

I am entering my Black & White Valentine card in the following challenges:
Creative Friday - (M) #172, Heart/Valentine
4 Crafty Chicks - (M) #337, Love
Through the Purple Haze - (M) #118, Valentine/Love
Frilly & Funkie - Be My Valentine
Cardz 4 Guys - #156, Love You
Happy Little Stampers Dies Challenge - (M) Anything Goes With Dies