Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Green Christmas

Sometimes, a mistake yields something good.

I love it when that happens!

I stamped the sentiment with the intention of putting a glittery punched star above it. But I stamped too low, and when I positioned the star, it just wasn't balanced. So I added the nativity scene and went monochromatic...and it works perfectly!

Of course, the stamps are from the Hero Arts' set Greatest Gift and therefore made to work together. But you know what I mean.

I liked this one so much I made five of them.

stamps: Hero Arts Greatest Gift
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI white
accesories: a tiny little rhinestone

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Update and this Week's OLW Location

Well, the past few days have gotten away from me for a number of reasons, thankfully not associated with the storm.

We've been very fortunate here in southwest Ohio...just rain and wind, but nothing terribly extreme. My heart goes out to all those who have lost power and sustained property damage, but most especially to those who have been injured or lost loved ones in the super storm. I hope my regular readers on the east coast can let us know how they are doing.

I hope to have some time in my craft room tomorrow and resume posting here either tomorrow or Thursday.

In the meantime, you'll find this week's OLW challenge on Ardyth's blog! Check it out Wednesday morning!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Touch of Glitter

Y'all know how much I love tiny focal points in lots of white space. Well, here you go.

Here's some more of the Michael's glitter paper, this time in red and green. I was surprised at how easily my tiny holly punch went through the heavy glitter paper. And isn't that flourished sentiment from Hero Arts just so elegant and pretty? The layout is a great way to spotlight a big, beautiful sentiment, a tiny yet high-impact image, and a random scrap of card stock.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, and just want to tell all my readers in the path of the Frankenstorm my prayers are with you.

Blessings and safety to all.

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: SU real red
paper: PTI white, glitter paper in red and green
accessories: small holly punch, 1/8" circle punch, dimensionals, glue pen

Friday, October 26, 2012


One design element that people sometimes forget is Unity. To make a card unified, each component has to relate to the others in deliberate ways, which, let's face it, can be hard when you're working with the "limited" supplies of even an expert-level stamp hoarder.

How many sentiments do you have?

"Roughly a gazillion."

Do you always have just the right one?


I thought not.

Anyway, unity is why using happy colors on a sympathy card is a bad idea, as is putting a rusted-out, old-timer jalopy that's falling apart in an overgrown field on a birthday card. Well, unless you intend to liken the birthday boy to a rusted-out, old-timer jalopy that's falling apart in an overgrown field.

(BTW, what was StampinUp thinking with that set anyway?)

So when I contemplated the empty birdcage stamp in SU's Nature Walk, I thought about how sad bird cages are. When they are occupied, they are prisons for things that should fly free. When they are empty, they imply absence, something missing...something missing that's pretty and sings better than I do.

Oh the moral conundrum of birdcages!

I decided to make a missing you card for Operation Write Home, only all the missing you stamps I had were too small, too large, on two lines instead of one, or ugly fonts. So it became a thinking of you card, which works, but not quite as well.

The birdcage looks a bit too feminine for a dude card, so I went girly with the whole thing: pink and burgundy. Wouldn't this be a great card for a female soldier, sailor, marine, or airman to send to her mother or sister or aunt or besty?

I just love the spray of flowers peeking out from behind the stamped panel. It adds some lovely interest and shows how the empty cage might symbolize loss or absence, but the flowers symbolize hope and beauty.

It also nicely creates some asymmetrical balance on the card. Bonus point!

And really, don't you wish all our troops safe return to their own homes? I was listening to this song today. It's really not the sort of thing you should listen to while driving. But it so perfectly expresses the commitment and sacrifice of our troops and their families.

And that's all I have to say about that. *sniff, sniff*

stamps: SU Nature Walk, PTI sentiment (not sure which set)
ink: Versacolor
paper: PTI
accessories: dimensionals, scallop scissors (to slightly round the corners of the raised panel)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nature Walk

Making clean-and-simple cards with graphic-style stamps (think of Papertrey's Modern Basics, for example) is relatively easy. Getting clean-and-simple cards from sets like StampinUp's Nature Walk or Lovely as a Tree is a lot more challenging. The artistic, natural style of the stamps lends itself more readily to shabby chic, collage, and vintage...basically, layered and embellished styles.

But there are some very simple ways of allowing these natural images to take center stage in CAS designs, and I just love playing around with them.

Many, many thanks to Reader Bev, who sent me SU's set Nature Walk. I sat down and played with it first chance I had, and here are the first two cards I made.

The crisp layout of mosaic rectangles inside a tidy rectangle arranged on a rectangular card lends itself to CAS. The trick to making these mosaic layouts work is even spaces between the pieces, and tweezers can help so much with placing the pieces.

By the way, I really loved the look of rounded corners of the blue card and wanted to do the same on the green card, but after I stamped the sentiment, I realized that rounding the bottom right corner would cramp the sentiment. The miss you sentiment was chosen because the troops need lots of cards with it, and this card is destined for Operation Write Home. As there is nothing soft about missing loved ones, the sharp, pointy corners feel appropriate to the situation, don't you think?

For tips and tricks on making these rectangular mosaics, you can see my tutorial HERE.

stamps: SU Nature Walk, Papertrey Simple Little Things (sentiment on green card)
ink: Versacolor
paper: PTI white, light blue; SU certainly celery
accessories: dimensionals, corner rounder, tweezers

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


This is my second post today. Please scroll down to see the first post, and don't forget the OLW on Karen's Blog on Wednesday!





The two smaller punches are from Martha's line, the large is a Marvy. I think.

The glitter paper is from Michael's, and it's thick. Really thick, as in "I broke a punch on this paper, but thanks to Ellen Hutson, I replaced the punch."

That's thick. I have this paper in silver, gold, dark blue, light blue, red, and green. You can expect to see lots of it in the next couple of months because, you know,



Sue asked why I choose to use VersaColor ink sometimes, as I did on THIS CARD. Basically, I fell into a rut of using only my Memento inks for a long time, but when I got the new inks and had issues with them, I decided that I sorta kinda oughta use the scores of other ink pads in my hoard. Since then, I've used Brilliance, VersaColor, Memories, and other inks whenever the urge strikes.

I did a review of inks on my Favorite Products page, so you can read all the details there. I dislike mixing thick inks and dye inks (they just look so different) but often pick one or the other because of color selection. I have LOTS of those little VersaColor cubes, which means a pretty great variety of colors. They are never blotchy like the Memento inks, but if you don't ink the stamp up evenly, you will get some gradations of color, giving a shaded look that sometimes works out well, sometimes not.

One other comment about inks. If you stamp mainly on white card stock, you are free to use any inks you want, without worrying about matching card stock. Simplicity has its advantages here. I love how easy it is to stamp when I don't have to worry about matchy-matchy. 'Cause you know, with my OCD, matchy-matchy can be a bit of a burden.

Just a bit.

OLW110 Squares

I wanted to make another card for OLW110 that used more than one square. A little three-square stamp from an old, old SU set called to me but proved much harder to use than I'd thought. This was my fifth or sixth effort, and I declared it good enough for government work and moved on.

Sometimes, it's the challenges that seem the most straightforward that stump me the most. I suspect my penchant for over-thinking is to blame. Darn that frontal lobe! But I do love the colors here: Versacolor fresh green and lagoon blue.


Now it's almost time for OLW111, which you will find on Karen's blog tomorrow (Wednesday).

stamps: Papertrey Ink (Turning a New Leaf, Botanical Silhouettes), SU (three squares)
ink: Versacolor lagoon blue, fresh green
paper: PTI white
accessories: none

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Unconventional Christmas and OLW110

I struggled with OLW110 Squares, which surprised me because it's really quite a lovely challenge and if you haven't played along yet, please do! Here's my first card for it, assuming Heather will accept a card with a single square on it.

But, my, oh my! That's a lovely square!

The unconventional color scheme--aqua and orange--is one I adore...but I'm just not sure I adore it for Christmas. Basically, I only have the square rhinestones in orange (and a red so dark it looks black, which isn't very pretty for Christmas stars). So getting flaky with the colors was a necessity.

Do you like unconventional colors for Christmas, or are you purist? We've discussed this before, and people seemed to have strong opinions. I'm a moderate who enjoys experimenting but also loves tradition.

I'll send this extremely unconventional card to the first person who requests it!

stamps: Hero Arts, Papertrey (sentiment)
ink: VersaMagic
paper: PTI
accessories: square rhinestone

Friday, October 19, 2012

Christmas without Squares

Yesterday, I tried to make something for Heather's OLW challenge and failed. I'll try again later today, but in the meantime, let's take a look at a Christmas card.

Lovely as a Tree by StampinUp (no egregious exclamation point because only I am allowed to use those) is one of the greatest classic stamp sets of all time. It's one of the first sets I bought from SU, and it'll be mine forever because it simply has to be in the Great Craftroom in the Sky.

Ordinarily, I use design elements in threes, but today, we're focusing on three sets of two: two trees, two rhinestones, and two lines of text. The layout is very asymmetrical, but the sentiment panel is actually centered horizontally on the card on purpose because it lends a bit of stability to the design. It and the inner tree both lay on the imaginary Lines of Thirds, an arrangement that also stabilizes or anchors the design in the lower left sweet spot.

This is my last unposted card, so I need to get busy making stuff. Hopefully, my muse will come back to me today. Alas, she appears to have gone on vacation!

Have a lovely weekend.

stamps: SU Lovely as a Tree, Hero Arts sentiment (retired)
ink: Memento
accessories: rhinestones, dimensionals
paper: PTI white

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The New OLW...

will be on Heather's blog Wednesday. Check it out!!!

(Note: I posted a card Tuesday morning and will not post again until Thursday or Friday, hopefully with a card for Heather's challenge. Sorry, but I'm feeling puny again, as my grandmother would say.)


Doesn't Mother Nature do yellow right? If you live in the northern hemisphere, perhaps you've noticed the bright yellow chrysanthemums and leaves brightening up some gray days lately. I have a huge yellow mum between my two garage doors so I see it every time I pull in or out of the garage, and the view outside windows on the front and back of the house displays stands of trees that positively glow yellow in the evening sun.

I don't use enough yellow in my stamping. Let's fix that today.

This card shows the design principle of visual triangles. The circles, leaves, and bling are arranged in clear triangles. The variation in size of the leaves, circles, and bling adds to the interest of the card, and the asymmetry adds energy at the same time, hinting at the dancing leaves falling from the trees.

By the way, my golden retriever, Daisy, thinks God gives her falling leaves as a treat. It's nearly impossible to walk her on a leash this time of year as she tries to chase the leaves around. And eat them. She's not bright, but she makes us laugh.

Although fall yellows are lovely, my favorite fall color is the intense, flaming scarlet that graces lots of bushes around here. If I were horticulturally inclined, I'd know what the bushes are called, but alas, I must merely enjoy them, nameless.

What's your favorite fall color?

stamps: Papertrey Autumn Acorns
ink: Memento
paper: Papertrey
accessories: circles punches, dimensionals, rhinestones

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Thankful for You with Ribbon

I rarely use ribbon these days. Too often, when I go to my stash, nothing works for my need. So my glass jars of ribbon sit on the shelf, looking pretty and being fairly useless. It's a bit frustrating, but there you have it.

When I stamped this card, though, I knew it needed ribbon, and this orange sheer-and-satin number worked perfectly. (The photo-editing made the ribbon look darker than it is, but the colors are nicely balanced in real life.)

Ordinarily, I keep bows pretty small, but in this case, I wanted the tails of ribbon to extend to just beyond the edges of the card. Everything in the stamped image is curvy except the straight lines of the sentiment, and the bow's horizontal emphasis subtly draws attention to the sentiment.

Or maybe that's just the medicine talking.

Not having the right ribbon isn't nearly as frustrating as whatever sinus thing has been tormenting me for seven--SEVEN--weeks. At least now it's confined to my head and not sucking all energy from every cell in my body.

Was that too dramatic? Sorry. But that's what if felt like, and I imagine you all can relate. I have another doctor's appointment this week about the sinus headaches, but I suspect there's nothing more they can do. Some things just have to be grunted through, and chronic sinusitis is one of them.

Thank you for listening to me whine. I'm happy to return the favor anytime you need to vent. Seriously.

stamps: Papertrey Round and Round, Autumn Acorns, Fall Elegance
ink: Memento
paper: white (PTI)
accessories: ribbon

Friday, October 12, 2012

Autumn Blessings

I've still got a few Gratitude Campaign cards to share, but I'm basically finished making them and have to move on to Christmas cards. I sent most of my Christmas stash to Operation Write Home last week, and realized that I have only about twenty cards for us. We send at least 120.

At moments like this I remember the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's very good advice: DON'T PANIC.

Oh, but I'm panicking. Yes, panicking. I'm Arthur Dent, not Ford Prefect.

But I've got my towel, so it'll turn out okay.

Anyway, this card is so un-panicky. Soothing, pretty, and full of white space. It gives me hope. It's still autumn, and I have time.

On other business...reader Diana asked how I decide what stamps to sell. Well, most of them are simply stamps I've used enough. After a while, I feel like I've exhausted all possibilities I care to exhaust with a particular stamp or set. Some of the stamps I sell are too much like other stamps I have. Some are classics that I've held onto because "they will be useful one day." Some of SU's large background stamps are a good example here. I hardly ever use large background stamps anymore (though I used to use them a lot). Also, a few sets (particularly the PTI ones I'm selling) are adorable but not for me. Everyday Button Bits, for instance, is a great set...but not for me.

Too much stuff in a craft space can stifle creativity. I have many hundreds of individual wood-mounted stamps and close to 150 stamp sets. How many stamps does one person need? Well, that's a very individual question, but for me, I've reached a point where I really enjoy getting new stamps and no longer need to hoard what I have. It's easy for me to let go of very good stamps now because there will always be very good new stamps to buy. I need to make room.

These decisions to get rid of stuff in general arise from very deep and personal questions about, well, stuff. If you read my other blog or Joan B's blog Creating White Spaces, you'll already be familiar with the long thought process I and so many others have engaged in regarding stuff. Too much to say here, but definitely a subject for more posts in the future.

Thanks to all who have ordered boxes and helped me make space for new stamps! The stamp-heavy boxes are sold, only one of the stamp-and-scrap boxes is still available.

stamps: Papertrey Autumn Acorns, Round and Round
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI white
accessories: dimensionals, rhinestone

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Four Points of Business

1. This week's OLW challenge is on Cheryl's Blog. It's to make a Halloween card! Dash on over and play along!

2. A reader named Barbara has asked that I do an ink review. It'll go up sometime in the next few days on my tab for Favorite Products. I will link to it when it's up.

3. I've got SIX grab boxes full of stamps to sell, each priced at $50, shipping included. Check my For Sale tab for details. Shipping only within the United States. First come, first served!

4. Today's cards.

Yesterday, I used this same basic layout and sentiment to make a girly card that hinted at better things to come out of current troubles. Today's cards are much more explicitly sympathy cards, sent to people several months after the recipients' losses.

No pumpkin flowers or pearls on these cards, and the colors are lighter in real editing seems to have intensified them.  Both are the lightest shades of Memento blue and green, and thus very subtle. I used black for the sentiment over the blue, and dark brown over the green.

By the way, I love the triple layer of white card stock. Just sayin'.

stamps: SU Summer Silhouettes, PTI Everyday Blessings (or Beautiful Blessings, not sure)
ink: Memento
paper: PTI white
accessories: none

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pink and Orange

Let's talk color today.

Have I ever told you about the sympathy card I received that had a far-too-perky color combination? It struck me as deeply weird to receive such a happy card on the outside that said "With Sympathy" on the inside.

That card violated unity of good design, which says that all the pieces parts (or, in design-speak, elements) of a design must reinforce each other and make sense together. The element of color can dictate the mood of a card far more effectively than almost any other design element, and when you choose an overly cheerful color combo for a somber card, the clash will definitely be noticed.

The great thing about color, though, is how many shades of each there are, which means color can be an incredibly flexible design element. Ordinarily, pink and orange make a spunky, high-energy pairing, but today, I used soft shades of rosy pink and a darker, pumpkin shade of orange for a more subtle card that just barely borders on cheery without being in-your-face perky. 

Which is perfect because the sentiment, while acknowledging the recipient's trouble, points toward the positive of God's support. The hints of happy orange indicate the temporary nature of trouble, while the pinks are soft and soothing and girly. A little sponging around the edges adds to the soft effect and emphasizes the sentiment.

This card has already been sent to a woman in our church who's going through a rough time. She's girly and Southern (with a capital S) and generally quite cheerful, and I made the card especially for her.

Tomorrow, we'll look at another approach to color using this sentiment for a slightly different purpose.

stamps: Papertrey Everyday Blessings (I think), SU Summer Silhouettes
ink: can't remember, but I think it's VersaMagic, or maybe VersaColor
paper: PTI white
accessories: sponge, half-pearls, dimensionals

Monday, October 8, 2012

Getting Dimensional

Every now and then, I like to break out of flat-card mode in a big way. Usually, these are cards I intend to hand-deliver or send with a gift package in the mail because they are usually a bit, um, fragile.

Who else hears "fra-JEE-lay" every time they see the word fragile? Yep, I want a leg lamp stamp.

It's a MAJOR award!*

Okay, back to dimensional cards that might be a bit fragile. I saw a gorgeous couple of cards by Mary Walden published in Take Ten Autumn 2012. Mary put twigs, die cuts, pieces of dried grass, bits of text-printed and handmade paper, and other ephemera into open envelopes attached to the front of her cards. The envelopes and background were stamped with a natural texture stamp, and the little envelopes were wrapped in white twine and embellished with beads.

They are cool cards. Go buy a copy of Take Ten and see for yourself. They are on page 108.

So I borrowed the idea and made it over into my rather graphic, stylized, clean-and-simple style.

First off, I made the envelope using an old SU envelope template and cut off the flap. Instead of using actual grasses and twigs, I stamped the Hero Arts branch stamp twice behind the envelope. (Actually had to do that step twice as the first time I messed up and had the bottom branch too far right.) The punched flowers are distressed (run the paper through a crimper several times, rotating the paper 90 degrees each pass, then crumple heartlessly, then punch). The two pieces of stamped paper tucked into the envelope are glued into position.

I decided this was still a bit cluttered for me (although I like it enough to send it to my mom for the Gratitude Campaign), so I tried again, stripping the card down to its barest essentials.

Yep. This one looks like I made it.

And I never would have thought to do it without the inspiration provided by Mary Walden.

Thanks, Mary!

*If you're wondering what in the heck I'm blathering about, please check out the movie The Christmas Story.

Supplies for First Card
stamps: Hero Arts (branch), SU (Define Your Life), Papertrey (Text Style, First Fruits)
ink: spectrum ink pad (not sure who makes it...maybe Adirondack)
paper: PTI white
accessories: SU envelope template, twine, flower punch, half beads, scallop scissors

Supplies for Second Card
stamps: Hero Arts (branch), Papertrey (Fall Elegance)
ink: same as above
paper: PTI white
accessories: twine, leaf punch, dimensionals, scallop scissors to round corners on raised panel

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Contrast in Formula

For our final look at the color formula 2 Neutrals + 1 Color, we're going to see part of what makes the difference between a peaceful card and a more dramatic one. It mainly has to do with color proportions and the heaviness/lightness of the images themselves.

First, the peaceful card. Like yesterday's cards, this card uses the single color very sparingly. The neutrals dominate. The only color is in the red berries, which were created with a red (obviously) Sakura Stardust pen. And the stamps are light, mainly lines of of lightish brown. 

By the way, I really like the movement in the above card. The stylized branches, two rounded corners, and curvy cursive of two words of the sentiment make this a visually interesting card while it still feels peaceful...and in harmony with the meaning of the sentiment.

Second, we see how much more drama comes when there's more color and the images are large, solid blocks. Even the sentiment is heavy and in scale with the images.

The olive green and tan keep this card from being, shall we say, perky. It's natural, with a subdued hint of tropical paradise. But that big, green butterfly with the big, green bling dominates the card in a very pleasing way.

If I had the inclination, I'd make this over in gray, white, and hot pink. THAT would really make it perky.

Supplies for Peace Card
stamps: Papertrey Signature Christmas, Memory Box bird in tree
ink: Brilliance
paper: PTI white
accessories: corner rounder, red Sakura Stardust pen

Supplies for Butterfly Card
stamps: A Muse (butterfly, leaves), Clear and Simple Stamps (sentiment, limited edition set)
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI white
accessories: Corner rounder, dimensionals, rhinestones

Saturday, October 6, 2012

2 Neutrals + 1 Color = Soothing

Some of the hardest cards to make are either sympathy and thinking-of-you cards for serious occasions. The idea of two neutrals plus one color is perfect for creating that much-needed soothing feel to a card. Consider these two cards.

The card above is for a friend who definitely needs to find peace with a difficult situation. White, gray, and dark blue give a soothing feel, while the sketchiness of the flower acknowledges how crazy challenging finding that peace may be. (Or am I going too English major on the interpretation? I just never know.)

This sympathy card uses VersaColor Cement, which is a wonderful taupe-y gray and Paprika. The smallness of the sentiment and the single colored sprig don't matter given how the Paprika dominates without overwhelming. Soothing, understated, sincere.

On both cards the colors are strong, but by using so little of them, the message comes across clearly without being shouted.

Love that.

Supplies Peace Card
stamps: Peaceful Garden (Papertrey, sentiment), Flower (Hampton Art, very old!)
ink: Memento
accessories: rhinestones
Paper: PTI white

Supplies Sympathy Card
stamps: Peaceful Garden (Papertrey)
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI white
accessories: dimensionals

Friday, October 5, 2012

Color Fun: Two Neutrals and a Color

Not sure what put this idea in my head (probably a card--or several--in a magazine), but I decided to experiment with using two neutrals (one of them the white card base) and a random color, just to see how the color would pop. I varied the colors on five or six cards, and found this to be a fun formula to experiment with!

And yes, I ended a sentence in a preposition because "...found this to be a fun formula with which to experiment" sounds snooty.

Anyway, you'll be seeing several such cards over the next few days, and here's the first color combo I experimented with: teal, gray, and white.

I love the softness of this, and the way the teal just pops right off the paper. The bling is just an added bonus!

Then I decided to vary the neutral with the teal, and try tan. This is the card that evolved. Not sure where it came from, but whatever muse was whispering in my ear doesn't visit me very often. It was fun to play along with her, but she's not as big a fan of white space as I am.

The tan warms things up, but there's no question which card I prefer. The first one is just more "me." The second one is more like my aunt, who owns a condo at the beach. That's why I am mailing it to her.

Isn't it cool that we can play and experiment and there's always someone to send the results to?

" whom to send the results?"


Have an awesome weekend.

Supplies Birthday Card
stamps: Hero Arts (text, butterfly), Papertrey (sentiment)
ink: VersaColor
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones

Supplies Shell Card
stamps: PSX (shells), Unknown (text)
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI white
accessories: lace, dimensionals, half pearls

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Variations on a Sketch--Part 4

Today is my last day of variations on Stephanie Halinski's sketch, and it's the loosest interpretation.

Loosest. That makes it sound promiscuous.

But in design, that just means that it took liberties.

Ohmygosh, this card is a slut!

Pretty, though.

Pretty cards can get away with anything.

The variation involves turning the card from portrait to landscape orientation, using a vine stamp repeatedly to create the diagonal, and arranging the sentiment completely differently to guide the eye across the horizontal rather than diagonal.

I'm not sure about the sentiment, though. I think it would look better if both happy and birthday were in the same font.

Anyway, live and learn. Vary the awesome sketch. Play and have fun.

But not too much fun, if you know what I mean.

stamps: Papertrey Turning a New Leaf (vine), Out on a Limb (berries), Botanical Silhouettes (sentiment)
ink: VersaMagic
paper: Papertrey
accessories: nada

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Variations on a Sketch--Part 3

To refresh your memory, here's Stephanie Halinski's sketch from Papercrafts.

And here's my fourth card using it.

In this case, I went sort of shabby chic...well, as shabby chic as I'm comfortable going. The script is from Papertrey's Text Style, the leaves are from Turning a New Leaf, and the sentiment is from Botanical Silhouettes. I love the softness of this card and how making the script tilt is both whimsical and elegant at the same time. Also, I love how different it looks from the other three cards. It's proof that a good sketch will work in LOTS of different ways.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: VersaMagic
paper: PTI white
accessories: pink pearls

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One-Layer Wednesday 108--One Stamp, Two Ways

This week's OLW challenge is TWICE the fun! Your challenge is to make two different cards using at least one image stamp on each! Keep in mind that the two cards can still look like they used the same stamp...just show how flexible the stamp can be.

Remember what I did with the presents stamp here, here, and here?

My inspiration cards for the OLW challenge are a bit more straightforward that the present stamp cards...especially because the OLW challenge has to be one layer and only one cut-outs or pop-ups!

Something like this:

See how the vine stamp looks so heavy and masculine on the first card, which has a very graphic layout. On the second, the stamp looks so light and pretty and elegant with all those tiny little gems on it.

THAT's what I'm talkin' about. One Stamp, Two Ways

OLW108 Rules

1. A one-layer card is defined as a single layer of card stock folded in half. No other layers allowed.

2. Use at least one image stamp (not a sentiment) on two different cards. See how different you can make them...beyond just color. Your challenge is to give the same stamp two different looks.

3. Post both your cards online and link to them using the InLinkz button on the sidebar. If you link to your blog, be sure to link to the specific post, not just your blog's main page. If you post your two cards to two different links (as on Splitcoast), please link to both!


stamps: Papertrey First Fruits, Fall Elegance
ink: VersaColor
paper: PTI white and vintage cream
accessories: rhinestones

Variations on a Sketch--Part 2

Today's variation on yesterday's sketch is...heavier. Yes, it's visually heavier than yesterday's cards. But the monochromatic approach helps the busier design retain its fresh, CAS feel.

The sentiment placement just wasn't working where it was in the sketch, so I moved it up and picked a sentiment with a cursive first word to rest on the top of one hexagon while the rest of the words run over the design. The random-ish pearls were added for a bit of interest...subtle but pretty, and their randomness balances (hopefully) the tidy hexagons.

I really like this card, but I really didn't like making it. Lining up all those hexagons was a pain and took longer than I would have liked.

Just call me lazy.

stamps: PTI Happy Hexagons, Botanical Silhouettes
ink: VersaMagic
paper: PTI white
accessories: half pearls

Monday, October 1, 2012

Variations on a Sketch--Part 1

Have you ever looked at a sketch and thought, "What would I do with THAT?"

I have.

Many sketches have so many implied layers that I take it as a challenge to minimize the layers, simplify the whole thing, while still sticking to the basic idea behind the sketch.

Sometimes, however, the sketch is pretty clean and simple, and inspires me to riff on it in a variety of ways. And that's the effect the following sketch from Papercrafts had on me. Stephanie Halinski is a genius!

I made five variations of this card, every single one a single layer. Two of them are dominated by straight lines, so today we'll take a straight and narrow interpretation.

First, a baby card in sweet pastels and a tiny sentiment. The ribbon stamps are from Papertrey's Faux Ribbon set, and the sentiment is from Sign Language. I had to trim the card because the stamps weren't quite long enough to span a standard 4.25"-wide card at an angle.

Second, I was inspired by Heather Telford's OLW challenge to do some sponging. After masking the diagonal area, I sponged VersaMagic inks (mango and pumpkin, I think) and stamped the leaves (Fall Elegance). Then, after pulling up the masks, I drew the dark brown lines and stamped the sentiment (First Fruits). It was a tad plain, so I added the bling to jazz it up.

When you have a great sketch to work with, you can do all sorts of fun things, get all sorts of different looks, with just a change of color scheme and technique. Tomorrow, we'll take a look a little different approach to the same sketch.

BTW, I have enabled comment moderation. I allowed the Anonymous comments again and within a minute was spammed. Grrr. So you can now comment anonymously.

stamps: Papertrey
ink: VersaMagic
paper: PTI white
accessories: gridded acrylic block, rhinestones, dark brown marker, post-its for masks, sponge