Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wet Stenciling

One of the techniques in the latest Technique Junkies Newsletter is Wet Stencil and I am hooked! I dug through my stash of supplies and found all my old stencils that haven't seen the light of day in almost 10 years. This little garden scene is by Plaid but it looks like they don't make it any more. After doing the wet stenciling and letting it dry completely, I stamped the sentiment (by StampinUp) and then used the stencil as a guide to add highlights to the chair with a clear Spica Glitter Pen (marker?) I then trimmed the piece and mounted it to a piece of Teal cardstock. I cut the scrolled corner with a Sizzlits die and mounted it to the top corner. Using a gold Gelly Roll Stardust pen, I outlined the scrolled corner and the entire stenciled piece. I really loved doing this card and I could kick myself for not buying more of this type of stencil when they were available.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Slice Masks

When I've had the time to play these last 6 or 7 days, I have been working with my Slice. I was not very happy with this product when I first took it out of the box. The blade pressure was very finicky and so many of the cuts did not have the detail that the example showed. In fact, some of the designs were strangely distorted. I was rather disappointed but after spending so much money, I was determined to get this thing to work.

Last Monday I received an updated Basics 1 Design Card and on it was a Calibration Program. After running this program I put my Slice to the test. I cut random letters and shapes in small, medium and large sizes and compared them to what I had cut previously and with the samples in the design guide. What a difference! So now that my Slice was running more to my liking I was ready to try something that has been on my mind for a while.

I enjoy making my own backgrounds and I really enjoy doing the more artsy style even though I have gotten away from it. With this in mind I decided to cut my own masks using the Slice and Masking Magic by Therm O Web. I removed the backing from the Masking Magic and smoothed the masking material onto my clean cutting glass. There is no need to have low tack adhesive on the cutting glass since the Masking Magic is already self stick and low tack. I chose a few designs from the Basics 3 design card, cut them out and then applied them to some ivory cardstock.

Using my ink applicator and Distress Ink, I applied ink all over the cardstock then removed the 2 smallest masks and stamped the piece with French Script background in Soft Gold Shadow Ink. Once that was dry I removed the remaining masks then stamped in dark shades of the 2 main colors with assorted stamps that went well with the masks. Finally, I ruined it by stamping with a Frame and Sentiment stamp that wasn't bold enough to stand out from the background.

Oh well - Live and Learn. But of course I'm not one to give up so I went back, sponged some white craft ink around the sentiment and frame then restamped it.

My second background was done basically the same but I stamped a Harlequin pattern over all then removed all the masks before stamping the French Script.

Since doing this project I discovered that I can't find any more Masking Magic at my usual haunts so I am going to pick up some Eclipse Tape by Judikins and see if it works the same.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April Card Club

At this months card club meeting we got to play with the new goodies in StampinUp's Occasions Mini Catalog. We made a Mother's Day card using the outline stamps in Soft Summer, with the dogwood(?) branch as the focal point and the fluffy weed thing (?!?!) for the background on the card base. The colors were supposed to be Almost Amethyst, Certainly Celery and Apricot Appeal but the Apricot just wasn't doing it for me so I was able to switch it to Barely Banana. We watercolored the Dogwood by coloring with the crayons directly onto the paper and then spreading and shading with the blender pen. I then showed how I can get a softer effect when inking the edges by using the foam applicator and the non-stick sheet. Kim, our fearless leader and SU Demo, then tried the same technique with a makeup sponge and the image sheet from the Stamp-a-ma-jig. Well Poop!!! Why didn't I think of that BEFORE spending the money on the applicator and craft sheet?!?!? Live and learn. Anyway, the card is based on Sketch Challenge 224.
We also played with the matchbox die and the coordinating stamp set. Needless to say I had to have it ALL!! And I ate far more malted milk eggs than what went into the matchbox.

Sketch Challenges 222 & 223

There is something about this card that I really love. I think it's the way the watercolored tree came out. I first stamped it in black on a scrap piece of paper so I could see the detail and then colored the rubber with my watercolor crayons. This allowed me to see where I needed to add brown for the trunk and branches. The stamp is from SU's Lovely as a Tree. The paper is from My Mind's Eye, dark green cardstock from Bazzill and Close to Cocoa from SU. The plain and scalloped rectangles are from Spellbinders and the ribbon was a piece of satin left over from the Baby Layette I crocheted.

For April's Card Club Swap we had to do a Sympathy Card. They are always the hardest to do so I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed making this card. I guess the trick is to make several of them on a bright cheerful day and just put them aside until needed so there isn't a lot of sad emotion tied to it.
I started by embossing the Mellow Moss base with one of SU's Texture Plates. I stamped the Very Vanilla panel with a leaf background stamp from All Night Media in Memories Soft Wheat ink then punched the long sides with one of the new EK Success border punches. The sentiment was from the Sentiments II set from Impression Obsession and stamped in Elegant Eggplant. The rose from SU's Dear Friend was stamped in Archival Black, colored with SU markers then cut and embossed with Spellbinder's Labels 1. The edge was inked with Always Artichoke using my nifty new ink applicator from Ranger. The Pale Plum mat was cut and embossed with Labels 1, stamped with French Script and the edges inked with Pale Plum ink. It was then mounted on a square of Perfect Plum.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sketch Challenges 220 & 221

Here are the next 2 cards using the Sketch Challenges from Splitcoast Stampers. This first one looks rather plain without a sentiment even after adding the pearls. I should have used Chocolate Chip around the edges of the raised border in the center or something. My pearls just blended into the background so I colored them with alcohol ink Prismacolor Markers. Printed paper is from My Minds Eye with SU cardstock in Close to Cocoa, Soft Sky and River Rock. Stamp is from SU's Friends 24-7 and the 2 Soft Sky panels were embossed with a Cuttlebug border folder. Center was cut and embossed with Spellbinders' Labels 4

I am not crazy about this next one so why am I posting it? Beats me but here it is. I tried to climb out of my box but I think I'll just go right back in for a while because this just isn't me! I do like the new border punch I used from EK Success and those buttons have been in my stash forever so it's nice to finally have a use for them.
The stamps are from SU's True Friend which I colored with SU markers, Direct to Rubber and the sentiment set from Melissa Francis called Simply Said. Cardstock is Bazzill, paper and buttons are Making Memories and the Spellbinders dies are Labels 2 and Octagons.

Sketch Challenges 218 & 219

I dug through my collection of scrapbook papers and pulled out this one from My Minds Eye. Using it as my base, I cut the large rectangle from the reverse side with the long deckled rectangle from Spellbinders then paired it with Not Quite Navy, Really Rust and Confetti. I used a combination of stamps from StampinUp's Flower Fancy, Wonderful Watercolors and Springtime Stems using Not Quite Navy, Always Artichoke, Really Rust and Chocolate Chip inks. I finished it off with the large Fastenator Staples from EK Success.

I tried a different way of inking my edges using the Inkssentials Ink Blending Tool from Ranger with the Non-Stick Craft Sheet. It gives a much softer look and you can control the amount of fade. You can probably use a makeup sponge and the back of the image sheet from the Stamp-a-ma-jig but I'm a sucker for doodads.

I've had this next paper from My Minds Eye in my stash for several years and it just begged to be used for this sketch. I also used one of my newest border punches from EK Success that store flat when not in use. Great idea!!! I believe they call it the Scallopped Scallop. Stamped using SU's Fall Flair in Groovy Guava and Old Olive. Used Groovy Guava for the card base and ribbon from American Crafts.

Neither of these cards have a sentiment. Since I never know if they'll be used as a Birthday, Get Well or Thanks You card until I need them, I just leave space to add a sentiment later. If I know a special event is coming up for a special friend I will sit and make a special card just for them. However, my husband and father-in-law tend to wait until the last possible moment to ask for a card so I keep a stash of blanks "Just in case"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Muse Returned

The Muse returned from the Bahama's in the middle of yet another snow storm. Once I got everyone's taxes done and out of the way I put her to work. I printed out the last 6 Sketch Challenges from Splitcoast Stampers and used them as my starting point. Some I like and some just are not me. I'll be posting them a bit later.

About a week or so ago I got a Mini Clip It Up and a Top Tier Kit to display my cards. I have been very pleased with it. In fact, I am liking it enough that I got the Clip It Up Ribbon Organizer a few days ago. These are made by Simply Renee and can be seen on her website at I have far more ribbon than I thought I did so I'm going to have to do some rearranging to add a second Ribbon Organizer. I have to confess, sometimes it seems like I do more organizing than I do crafting. Anyone else have that problem?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Muse obviously got tired of all the stinking snow and went to the Bahamas. All I have to show for today's efforts is a worktable covered in cut up pieces of paper!! Argh!!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Two years ago my dearest friend Lynn was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in the brain. By August she was gone, 4 months before her 57th birthday. Her daughter, Alicia, had just married a wonderful guy and there was talk of them starting a family. One of Lynn's few regrets was that she would not be here to crochet the baby's Layette if and when Alicia became pregnant. I promised her right then and there that I would fill in and crochet a complete layette - hat, sacque, booties and blanket. Alicia became pregnant, she and Tony will be welcoming their Baby Boy Flores by Mother's Day and I fulfilled my promise this week. The layette was delivered to Alicia and Tony on Monday. This is for you, Lynn. I hope I did you proud.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March Card Club Projects

While I'm thinking about it, these are 2 of the projects we made at card club in March. This first one is my favorite simply because I love purple and I very rarely use black so this is almost "out of the box" for me. I waited until I got home to assemble it so I could die cut the mat.

On this second one I should have done some inking on the scalloped edge to make it stand out more. It seems to just melt into the striped paper. What do you think?

What happened to March! Part 2

Now that March over, life is beginning to get back on track. Now if I can just stay away from Facebook I'll be able to get things done.

My Dad's birthday was in March and our Club Swap theme was Adult Male Birthday so I was able to kill several birds with one stone. I used the baby wipe ink pad technique and I used my Slice or rather my Slice used and abused me. The cutting blade is very fussy and it hates cutting SU cardstock. Hopefully the new calibration program that should be arriving in the next few weeks will fix the bugs.

I was also in the March One for One Swap on Technique Junkies and this is the card I sent my partner. I used the Background Smoosh Resist, Nestabilities and Prismacolor Markers. The stamp is from Lockhart Stamps and I just HAD to have it along with Buttermilk Hen because they look like my Jim Shore Roosters and Hen.

My partner, Nancy, had the same idea as I did - bright colors to chase away the winter blahs. Here is what she sent me.