Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Ten Favorite Cards from 2012

 I like the stitching I did on this one, the coordinating papers and how well the dimensional sticker matches the papers. 

 I love this little Asian Girl and the sketch I used to create this design. 

 I was playing with my alcohol markers and loved how this Graduation Girl turned out. 

 My daughter loves animals and bright colors.  I had the pretty and bright scrap that I used to pull this card together.  The scrap is much brighter in person and is hot pink, orange and lime green.

 I had this design in mind for years and finally figured out how to create it on my Silhouette Cameo.

 This birds on a wire design was a purchased design from the Silhouette store.  I love the matching ink, paper and ribbon I used from PaperTrey Ink and I love the sentiment which says "God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage."  I think it is a great sentiment for someone going through tough times.  I gave a set of these to my sister who is very active in her church.

I loved this bright Get Well card.

 You can't get any cuter than House Mouse stamps.  I like the ribbon like papers stuck out horizontally from the image.

This is the cutest little image.  I colored her with alcohol markers and wanted to keep the background rather plain to keep the focus on the image.

I loved coloring the roses with my alcohol markers.  It is the primary focus on this card and I like how well it coordinates with the background paper.

If you have any questions about manufacturers of stamps or papers used in these designs feel free to contact me.  I mentioned most of them on the original posts but I'm happy to look them up for you if you are interested.  I'm not a very active blogger so I only have about 5 or 6 pages of posts for all of 2012.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Confetti Birthday Card

I saw this cute post about adding confetti in a pocket of vellum for a festive birthday card.  Here is my take on it.  The first card was for the Operation Write Home Challenge #143.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Black and White Thinking of You card.

     Here is a black and white Thinking of You card I made using Operation Write Home sketch #80  and a Handmade by Paula Sentiment.  The colors of the sentiment guided my choice in papers.
     The black paper is a little narrower than the sketch because it was my only piece of black, but it still works here.  It is dry embossed with the Sizzix diamonds pattern and the felt heart was from a package I picked up at JoAnns last Valentine's day.  I think it might have been by Darice.

Doodle Pantry Holly Stag kit

     I purchased this Holly Stag kit from Doodle Pantry.  The two matching print papers come with the kit as do several sentiments, all of which I used.  I had fun using several Operation Write Home sketches to design these cards.  I have more paper leftover so I may continue on with the cards, using additional sketches until I find one that is perfection. 
     I tried paper piercing some of the images and sentiments and I added glitter to the holly berries and sections of the antlers.  The glitter on the antlers really brought the images to life.

Birthday Fishes

     Finally, a nice man card using an image and sentiment from Doodle Pantry.  I have my old standby of cars which I typically use for manly cards, but now I have a second option.  I created three different versions of this card before deciding that my favorite version is the last one. 
     The sketches used were from Operation Write Home and the last sketch called for a square image to be used instead of the circle.  When I replaced the square on the sketch with the circle I had already punched out, I was very pleased.  I may try this again with a square instead of a circle for my image though.

Prayerful Boy

This is another Sliekje image that I love.  Isn't he just the sweetest little boy?  He looks like he is saying his goodnight prayers, but I used this image for a birthday sentiment of "Make a wish".

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Some other cards I made recently

Here are some other cards I made recently.  This last card has a glitter filled 3D "button" that says "I Love You."

Birthday cards for my daughter's Sweet Sixteenth birthday

I created the following cards for my daughter's 16th birthday.  She loves neon colors and dogs and cats.  The first image is the card I gave her, and the 2nd image is the card she received from her younger sister. 

Clean and simple LOVE cards


 I fell in love with this flocked hummingbird/paris purple paper and had to have it.  I was afraid to cut into it for the longest time, but I finally bit the bullet and was able to find three beautiful card fronts living within the 12 x 12 inch paper.  After mounting the images to card fronts I realized I needed to keep these cards clean and simple so I found this beautiful LOVE stamp and CAREFULLY positioned the image using my stamp-a-majig.  (I am famous for getting things crooked even with the stamp-a-majig and was afraid I would ruin these gorgeous cards.)
     Voila - I succeeded.  I am so pleased with how these turned out.  Clean and simple and beautiful.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Girl Graduation cards for 2013

     Yes I have started making graduation cards for 2013.  My daughter needed about 12 cards last year and she's going to need many again this year. Not all of her friends are girls so I need some guy ones too. 
     The digital image is from Bugaboo and was colored with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers.  I couldn't get the exact shade of green used at our high school because I don't have the full set of markers. (It should be dark green, but not this forest green that I have).  I raised the image with dimensional stickers and added a sentiment behind her.  I rounded the 2 bottom corners of the card and added on length of white corrugated cardstock to each card.  Then I added a strip of green with white polka dot designer paper from my dollar store to two of the cards, and a strip of coordinating green corrugated cardstock ruffled in the opposite direction to the third card.  2 green self-adhesive gemstones complete the card.
     One of these days I will figure out how to make black hair that looks nice, but the markers cover the details in the hair and it looks so one dimensional unless you add grey. Then the hair looks grey-yuk.  So for now, no black hair. Just blonde, light brown and dark brown.
     The double sided background paper is a few years old and was from a pack of licensed Girl Scout Paper I found at either Michael's or JoAnn's a while back.  There is nothing specifically Girl Scout oriented on this side of the paper so it works great for graduation.
     Now, if only I can get my daughter to list her friends that are graduating so I know which hair colors to use and how many guy graduation cards I need to make.  Also, what am I going to do when I run out of the background paper?

Cherry Blossom Birthday Cards

     I've had these cute little kimono dressed girl digital images from Angelique Kramer from the Netherlands for quite sometime.  You will find the cutest children and cat digital images on Angelique's Sliekje's Digi Stamps blog.  I finally found the perfect cherry blossom background paper to go with it when I was at Michaels this weekend. 
     I used my Spectrum Noir Alcohol ink markers to color them (unfortunately I don't have all the colors and could only do Caucasian skin tone).  I used one of the sketches from Operation Write Home and I found coordinating pink and turquoise papers.  I heat embossed a background pattern on one of the squares using versamark for a tone on tone effect.  I made a mistake and used versamark ink on multiple images before embossing.  It dried a little before embossing which made an incomplete image in some areas.  I learned from my mistake though and did it correctly when I heat embossed the white sentiment.  I then raised the girl image using dimensional stickers and added a single self-adhesive pearl accent to the lower right corner to complete the card.
     I finally feel I have done the image justice.

Congratulations Clip Art Card

I've had this Microsoft clip art for years and finally put it to use.  It seemed to blend nicely with this background paper that I had left over.  I just raised the image with dimensional stickers, added some bakers twine and a yellow self-adhesive pearl and it was ready to go.

Halloween Card 2012

     I'm not into sending Halloween cards, but my MIL loves cards and lives in a nursing home, so I really like to have a card for each holiday for her.  She lives nearby but I like to mail them to her so she has something special to open in the mail.
     I had this card base ready to go for a fall leaf image I was going to use, but then I forgot why I had the base ready.  I decided to use it for my Jack-O-Lantern instead.  It needed a little bling and I just couldn't figure out what to do.  A full ribbon seemed too much, and a bow overpowered the image.  I decided to do three ribbon tails under the image, but having more than just the points showing used up too much card so I ended up with just the little triangle ends of the ribbons showing. 
     The digital image is from Beccy Muir and is raised with dimensional stickers.  (Beccy is a very talented Australian artist and card maker and I highly recommend that you go through her blog for inspiration).  I colored the image with my Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and used a little of the lightest gray for a shadow around the pumpkin. 
     It is difficult to tell because of the busy background, but there is a second backgound paper applied to the base card under the bottom of the image.  It is an orange print and has a third piece of paper (green corrugated paper strip) applied down the middle.  I then rounded the two bottom corners of the card.

Gift card holders

Today I am making these gift card holders.  I need Christmas and Birthday ones.  They are so handy for those last minute - run to the store - pick up a gift card - do I just throw it in a card? - moments.  The pattern for it is from Gina K Designs and she has a video for it.  I've seen plenty of gift card holder patterns but this is my favorite.  It just seems upscale.  Now I can dig into my stash at the last minute and have something to actually present as a gift besides my cards.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Operation Write Home card donation

I've been busy making cards for a current Operation Write Home challenge.  They asked for half of the donation to be Holiday (Christmas primarily) and the other half to be mixed.  The donation address I am sending my cards to primarily needed the other cards to be love you, missing you, etc.  I have 62 cards total, not including 7 Any Hero cards which are cards meant for the Heros to read, not for them to send home.  These cards will be sent oversees for our fine service men and women from all branches of the military to  write home to their loved ones.  They apparently are quite taken with the quality of the cards and the extreme variety that come through, and they typically find several cards that remind them of particular people they would like to write to.

  I am learning a few things about lining up sentiments, (mine usually go on off center, but I was tired of cutting them out and gluing them on separately).  My sentiment on the top card (Joy) is straight, but I still need to figure out how to stamp the image centered on the card.  I had to stamp it separately, then cut it out and apply it to a different card base.

I'm not sure how often I can donate because the envelopes are kind of expensive, and the shipping charges will be hard for me, however, it is a cause I am deeply connected to.  I end up making WAY more cards then I could ever use and even if I just donate once yearly, I will be helping.

I thoroughly enjoy the Operation Write Home blogs.  I watch the videos posted by Sandy Allnock the President of the group.  She is so funny.  She occasionally gives me ideas that will improve my designs.  I downloaded 25 pages of card sketches with exact measurements of paper strips which have helped speed me up.  I'm sure there is more I can learn from this wonderful website.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Silhouette Cameo helps me with my coloring

My Silhouette Cameo helps me with my coloring AND my cutting.  I have to prevent using my hands as much as possible with my arthritis, and as a crafter it makes me have a very sad face.  I gave up knitting and crochet and I really miss it.  I can only color for a little while and cutting creates problems faster than just about anything.

I am SOOOO excited that I figured out how to scan a colored image into my computer as a jpeg, then import it into my Silhouette studio software.  It took some figuring out but I was able to create six images per sheet, then create a cutting file for one of the images.  I had to duplicate that cutting file, then manually line it up with each image, but that wasn't too hard.  (There has to be a way to duplicate the image AND the cutting file at the same time, but I haven't figured it out yet.)

This photo is intentionally awful.  It is beautiful in real life, but I adjusted it to make it not attractive and difficult to duplicate a nice image from..  The artist can be found at di's digidownloads.  She has the CUTEST images.  Because I am showing a full page of her artwork that I have colored, I did not want the image to be available to print and sell which would be piracy of her artwork (and if I do say so myself, of my beautiful coloring job using Spectrum Noir alcohol ink markers.)

The marks in the corners of the page are registration marks which helps the machine line up the image with the cutting file.  Here is the result of the cutting.

I originally forgot to set my printer for a high quality photo image so this one isn't saturated as well as it should have been, but the other ones are GORGEOUS!  I can make these into gift tags for goody bags for my daughter's upcoming birthday, make cards, etc.   OOOOh, I just had the best idea for making a Silhouette SHAPED card with this image.  I will try and let you see if it turns out okay.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hershey bar snowmen (UPDATED Nov. 21, 2014)

I made these hershey bar snowmen last year and need to make more this year.  It's perfect for tucking in a gift bag with a gift card and Christmas card.  (I hate giving gift cards and nothing else.)

I got the idea from

UPDATE 11-21-14
Here are some notes that might help you. 
  1. For this particular snowman design, go to Kerrys Paper Crafts and watch the video at the bottom of the page.  She shows you how to make the Hershey Bar Snowmen and if you click the You Tube link to watch it she has a link for this snowman wrapper from Laurie Furnell.   (The free design from Laurie Furnell has been removed.)  I have seen other versions on the web though so try searching for snowman hershey bar wrapper freebies. 
  2. Printing the appropriate size:  I found that if I click on the snowman wrapper image in my computer files, it comes up in Windows Photo Gallery. ( I use the 1.55 oz candy bar sized image.)  I click on print and then in the new window that pops up I make the following selections:
  •  It should automatically come up sized as LETTER 8 1/2 by 11 inches.  If not, please change it.
  • I select BEST for photo quality.
  • I select PREMIUM PRESENTATION for paper type since that works well with cardstock.
  • On the right side are images of photo sizes.  I select the 5X7 in (2) size.
  • At this point it only shows one image on the paper preview.  Change the number of copies at the bottom of the pop up window to 2.  Wait a second and the second image pops onto your paper preview.
  • I select the little box to the right of the copies that says "fit picture to frame".
  • Print it out  (You might want to try it first on scrap paper to be sure it works for you).  See below for how to finish up the wrapper portion of your Hershey Snowman.
    3.  Cut the card stock in half at 5 1/2 inches between the 2 images.
    4.  Cut the bottom of the images off about 1/2 to 3/4 inch below the bottom coal button image.
    5.  Cut the height of your image to 5 3/4 inches.  It should be 5 1/2 inches wide and 5 3/4 inches tall.
    6. Score your images 1 1/2 inches in from each side edge.  This is where it will crease when you wrap it
        around your candy.  It isn't necessary but I find it significantly helps me center my image if I do this
        first.  I hope this works for you!

PS.  You can make about 21 outfits for your snowman with 1/2 yard of fabric, so feel free to use that as a guide for how much fabric to buy.

Ornament Gift Box

I am making several of these ornament gift boxes for my sister-in-law who hand paints ornaments for Christmas.  The inserts come out so you can actually make these just as gift boxes if you prefer. 

I learned to make them from this video  by stampinhands.  I used double sided heavy paper from KC&Co designed by Susan Winget.  I love that there is a different design on the outside of the box, than the inside.

I created boxes with small, medium, or large holes to hold the ornaments because my sister-in-law paints all three sizes of ornaments.  I guessed at the hole sizes, but they worked out perfectly.  I used 1.75", 2", and 2.5" holes  The ornaments don't move around in the box when the box is handled.  The box is bigger than needed for the smallest ornaments so I will eventually play around with the size to figure out a better sized box.  The box size is perfect for the medium and large bulbs though.