Tuesday, May 25, 2010

With Sympathy - Batick Method

Is everyone having a good week so far?  I hope so.  I am grumpy today and am trying very hard to shake off my bad mood.  Don't you hate when a bad mood descends upon you for no good reason?  I am generally very cheerful so I find it especially annoying when the bad mood creeps in.  One wonderful thing about approaching menopause is that the bad moods creep in suddenly and more frequently.  Luckily they don't last long.  Part of my bad mood probably has to do with two late nights this week.  We are so happy that our Boston Celtics are in the playoffs, but between the finale of Lost Sunday and the Celtics overtime last night, we had two nights where #1 son stayed up too late.  Grumpy teenagers in the morning are a sure way to exasperate a hormone related bad mood.  Ah well, this too will pass.....Posting the card I made last night is a sure mood booster!

So on to my card.....  This was a new technique I am trying to perfect with watercolor paper, embossing and ink.  Here's how you do it.  You start with a nice watercolor paper and clear emboss your image.  For this card I used a new cat tail stamp that I got.  I don't know the stamp company name and the stamp didn't have a logo on it.    Then I heat set the clear embossing.  Next I dampened the rest of the paper with an aqua marker but you could easily use a wet sponge or spray mister.  I didn't get mine saturated, just damp.  Then I used a sponge on my stamp pads and pulled up some color onto the sponge and blended river rock, soft sky and baja breeze on and blended the colors together for a soft water color glow.  After the whole thing dried, I took two sheets of regular copy paper and sandwiched my embossed/colored image between them and ironed it with the image side face down.  The ironing removes the embossing so you have a mat image.  Iron on a medium high setting until you can see the image has pulled off onto the copy paper with a kind of waxy look.  It's okay to have some embossing remain, but I think it's nicest if the remaining image is mostly mat.  To finish it, I cut the image out, matted it on two layers of card stock (Not Quite Navy and River Rock) and then mounted it on a ribbon clad sheet of water color paper.  The card stock base is Baja Breeze and the sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Wishes in Not Quite Navy.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Playing with Sarah

While Sarah is home (before she leaves for her summer intern) she asked if we could work together to make some cards.  She likes having some pre-made cards that can be used for any occasion so last night we had a crafting session.  On Wednesday she had colored in some images so last night was all about designing and finishing the cards.  We started with some fun sketches and then matched colors and finished with a few nice cards.   Don't you love the subtle colors that can be used for men or women?  Can you guess which card I made and which ones she made??  I think she's turning into a fabulous little stamper!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Girls Weekend

Did you all have a nice weekend?   Did it go by way too fast?  Mine did.  We had our annual girls weekend and this year we went to the Jersey Shore.  We had great weather so we enjoyed some beach walks and bike rides in the resort towns.  Several of my cousins are card makers too, so I brought some supplies and Jan did too, so Sunday evening we took over the dining room table at the rental house and crafted.  I made a few graduation cards and all of us made an all purpose card using my new hostess set.  Jan taught me a few great techniques.  She showed me a way to use a pampered chef stone cleaner to get a much crisper score on my folds.  She also showed me how to score first, then bump the card up against the straight edge and using the scorer, press down with the edges on the straight edge and get a great fold that stays put.  I was grateful because I've been struggling to get even folds.  She also showed me that my scorer was dull and needed replacement.  Lastly she taught me how to make paper flowers!  I didn't have the right colors to finish the flower card so I'll be busy week finishing those.  Watch for posts later this week with those goodies.  Here are the cards we finished...

I had found some new memory box paper that is used in the graduation card and the beautiful day card.  It goes so nicely with stampin up celery, chocolate chip and baja breeze.  I added in some not quite navy on the graduation card.  The DP makes such a fast and easy card.  Love it.    The daisy card is so saffron and old olive.  Don't the pearls add a nice touch to the daisies?  My cousin Carol did the paper piercing.  We might just convince her to start card making too.  She is an accomplished cake maker, so she knows about attention to detail.  The calmness cards is also on so saffron and the card base is river rock.  Aren't you glad this one is coming back?  Such a great neutral color!   This one also uses natural white and sahara sand for the layers.

Lastly, here is a group photo of all of us. 
Such a beautiful group of ladies of all sizes and ages - don't you agree?
From left to right, back row: Jan, me, Robin
Front row (also left to right), Caroline, Kathie, Lin, Tracy, Carol. 
Unfortunately cousin Nor couldn't make it,  but she was there in spirit!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Make it manly challenge FLLCMAY10

Are you having a good week?  I hope so.  Spring is in full bloom here and life is full and busy.  I am looking forward to spending some time with my female relatives this weekend at our annual Girls Weekend.  I took a few days off work so I have a 5 day weekend.  I leave Friday to meet my cousin before we head down and then I'll stay over with her again on Monday and drive home.  We are headed to the Jersey shore this year so it's a 6 hour drive.   I'm happy to split the trip up and I'm glad my cousin is right along the way 1/2 way there!  So, no posts from me for a bit, but the stampin supplies are coming along to the beach so watch for some inspired posts upon my return.

Today's post is a challenge from Flourishes.  This one was tough.  They wanted us to 'make it manly' but all my flourish stamps are fruits and flowers.  I didn't shy away though.  I figured my embellishments and colors could take any image and make it masculine, so I gave it my best shot.  I tried some new techniques with my copics on the image here.  I colored everything in and then I went over the whole image with a warm grey to give it a more distressed look.  I added a light blue to the non-strawberry images on the background to bring out the colors in the image.  Then I took some copic liquid and patted the whole thing with a cotton square.  I was trying to add texture, but what happened is the entire image smudged and blended to give it more of a watercolor effect.  That wasn't exactly what I was going for, but I think it works.  I matted it on baja breeze and then I added the grommet and some artichoke grosgrain ribbon.  I put that on top of papertrey ink green and then put that on top of a strip of Baja Breeze DSP (retired from a few years back.)  The next layer is ripped (nice masculine touch) on a deep grey from paper trey ink.  Then another layer of Baja Breeze DSP and the card is on a nice deep green from papertrey ink.

The sentiment is from a favorite stand by 'wonderful words' from Stampin Up.  This is done in old olive on the pti green.  Well off to see who gets voted off American Idol.  I'm hoping it's Casey's last week.  I want Lee to win and I want Mike & Crystal to make it in the final 3.  We'll know in an hour (unless they run over!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Young Man's birthday card

Have you planted any annual flowers in your garden yet this year?   I did last Wednesday.   But then last night we had a frost.  There is frost on my grass in my front yard - On May 11th!  How can this be?  I brought in all my baskets and potted plants and I really hope the cosmos and snapdragons that I put in the ground are okay.  What strange weather we are having - over 90 degrees in April and now frost in New England in May.  Today I am off to a training class for work and then hopefully back early enough to catch the second half of my son's baseball game.  I'll be bringing some extra layers to stay warm.  What do you have planned today?

I whipped this card up last night after I heard about a surprise birthday party for one of Eric's friends.  All his friends are turning 16 but I'm getting tired of using the car stamp - even though it's usually perfect for 16 year olds.  I decided to use this great layout again because - well - it works so well!  I played with my paper trey ink argyle set with more mustard and not quite navy.  I'm loving that set.   I put all of it together with no image.  I had some owls that I was trying to fit in, but they weren't working so then I found this little Amuse squirrel that I got this weekend and he fit perfectly in the spot.    I used up some of the last of my earth elements buttons.  I'll be investing in some new ones with the new catalog in July.    Can't wait to see what stampin up has - I'm sure it will be great!  Well off to the shower to get ready for another busy day.  Enjoy and thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Flowers and Bees

Did your kids do anything fun for you for mothers day?  I hope so.  It's not so much what they do, but the fact that they thought of you and did something to honor you.  My daughter Sarah is in the middle of finals at college, but she sent a sweet card and called today.    That was perfect!  And best of all, she had news of a potential internship this summer.  She had a second phone interview with World Vision on Friday for a great internship possibility in Washington D.C.  I was so excited for her.  She's one of the finalists being considered and it would be a great opportunity.  My son, Eric also honored me on Mothers Day in his own way.  On our way up to the basketball tournament last night, we drove by one of my stamping stores, so we stopped in.  I showed him a few Amuse stamps I liked and he picked out two and surprised (well not really) me with them today.  He also used my stamps to make a card.  He's not especially creative and it looks like a little kid card, but he did make it.  I hate to say it, but I think he does the hand made cards more because he's cheap than because he wants to make a home-made card, but I'm not complaining.  I'll take any card from a 16 year old!!!

So, my card today is using my favorite theme these days - flowers, bees and birds.   What a great spring combination.  My nieces birthday is in May and I thought she'd enjoy this summer themed card.  I used all Amuse stamps for this - the long grass, the grass, the butterfly and the mini flower.  The colors are all stampin up 'in' colors with old olive for the grass.  The purple is razzleberry, the orange - dusty durango and the pink - melon mambo.  I used some soft pastel buttons with twine in the holes for the upper right corner and the birthday sentiment is from an unknown stamp line, but I liked how the script coordinated with the images.  The inside has a white mat with the words 'have a beeautiful day.'  I hope Helen likes it!

This card also uses the Saturday Sketch Challenge for the week.  This is a great sketch and I'll plan to use it again for future cards.

Thanks for looking and have a great Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Using a stamp in a way it wasn't intended

Happy Saturday.  Here in New England it is raining.  Early this morning was a good old fashioned thunderstorm that caused me to linger in bed for a few extra ZZZ's.   What better way to waste away a rainy morning.  Keep in mind - sleeping late for me is staying in bed till 8am!!!   Now we are off to some basketball games.  I don't mind going to basketball games on rainy days.  Sometimes it feels like a waste to be inside when it's beautiful and sunny!

Today's post is for Impression Obsessions challenge to use a stamp in a way it wasn't intended.  So to do this, I stamped the Thistle Garden image 4 times.  I took the leaves and colored them with copics and then cut out three strips to make it like a background stamp.  Then I colored the birds and cut them out with circle punches.  Yes, they have glitter on them too!  I used bermuda bay and garden green with several layers of matting.

Hope you have a fun day ahead.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sweet 16 for Christie

Happy Monday everyone.  Did you have a good weekend?  Did the birds wake you this morning or the alarm?  We had a heatwave in New England this weekend so all our windows were open and there was a chorus of birds singing away at 5am this morning.  My alarm goes off at 5:50, so I considered the birds my 'pre-wake up' call and hit the snooze button. 

Do you have a facebook account?  If not, let me tell you why it's such a good thing.  I knew my neices birthday was coming up because my in-laws were discussing her turning 16 at Easter, but I don't have Christie's birthday on the calendar.  Well facebook sends me an e-mail every week and tells me all my friends who have birthday's this week and I'm friends with Christie!  So, now I know that Christie's birthday is Wednesday so yesterday I got busy on a cute sweet 16 card for her and popped it in the mail today.  Thank you facebook!  You make me look organized!!!  I was so glad I had this new 'Enjoy the Ride' stamp set from papertrey ink.  It was perfect for a sweet 16 card.  My good camera is out of battery so this is a not very good photo with my 'other camera.'  You can't see well, but the colors are melon mambo, black and white.  I used the pti argyle on the background and also used my pti rick rack die to cut out rasberry fizz felt to add a nice layer.  Christie is a pearl kind of girl so I added the big pearls to the corners just for her.  The license says 'sweet 16' and the headlights are embellished with diamond brads.  A fun teenage girl card!

So, I think I'm starting to get the paper trey ink bug that everyone talks about.  I am still very impatient and will probably continue to be frustrated waiting for my orders, but I do really love these stamp sets and now that I have them in my hot little hands, I guess I agree with others that they are worth the wait!

This card is also using the SSC149 sketch, but now that I look at the sketch, I think I took a few liberties with the sketch!  Oh well, the basic sketch is there with the ribbon layers underneath.  Next time, I'll be more rigorous in following the sketch design.  Enjoy the day!  Thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Batick Flowers for Sarah SSSC7

Each spring when college finals come around, I like to send my daughter Sarah a little care package and an encouraging card.  Well finals start Friday so the care package is all boxed up and ready to be mailed on Monday.  Hopefully she'll have it by Wednesday.  I included some cute summer pj's figuring she will be staying up late studying and it will be fun to have something cute and comfy to hang out in.  I also included some chocolate and home-made peanut butter cookies.  Since Sarah is a little bit of health food freak, I included some dried fruit (mango tropical trail mix) and some cashews (protein for the brain.)  Last but not least is the card.  I saw this batick technique a few weeks ago and really wanted to try it.  It's actually very simple, but a little messy.  I started with my Amuse grass and amuse flower images done in versamark.  Then I used clear embossing on them.  Once that was dried, I sprayed two sprays of Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Olive Vine.  Only two sprays left parts of the paper white and it wasn't completely saturated with the green.  Once the shimmer mist was dried I took a sponge dauber and rubbed some baja breeze and bermuda bay ink on the entire area.  By rubbing, it pulled the color off the embossed image and filled in blue into the uninked areas of the paper.  Once done, I had to wipe everything off (my fingers especially) with a baby wipe.  I cut the focal image out and then added three layers of ribbon.  Old olive, bermuda bay and a thin satin white.  Then I attached it to a mat layer of the Bermuda Bay textured card stock and then put the whole thing on an old olive card.  I repeated the process on the punched out oval scallop with the Amuse sentiment and Voila - A batick card for Sarah to go in with her goodies!  Oh and I forgot to tell you, the sentiment is raised using glue dots. 

I used the sweet sunday sketch challenge for my layout.  It's a nice easy sketch to work with and I was glad for the inspiration.  Hope you all have a great Sunday Evening.  Off to make dinner and RELAX!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Happy Saturday everyone.  Do you have a fun filled weekend ahead?  I hope so.  We have a low key weekend  at our house.  I'm feeling much better, but still not 100% so I'm hoping to take it easy.  We have no activities on the calendar which is unusual but welcome.  The weather is great and the boys are out spreading some mulch in the garden beds. 

Today's post is a favorite of mine.  It's kind of a copy - cat card from Karen, but it has my own take on it.  This card uses all A-Muse stamps.  To make it, I started with a stamp image of long grass in certainly celery and then followed up with layer on top of grass (just regular grass - not long) in kiwi kiss.  Then I stamped some mini flowers in pretty in pink and some other mini flowers in mambo melon on the tops of the long grass stems.  I stamped the bumblebee in chocolate chip and then used my priceless embossing folder as the template for my paper piercing for the bumblebee's flight path.  I did a very thin mat of melon mambo on the whisper white image and then  put it all onto a mat layer of chocolate chip.   I had some A Muse green pearls and I liked how it looked to put a full row of them in between the image mat and the sentiment.    I love this card - simple - good for any occasion - summery!  I think I'll make a few more of these to have around. 

Thanks for looking and enjoy your day!