Sunday, September 24, 2017

Thanks a Ton!

I love this little elephant from My Favorite Things' "Sweet Safari" set. Why they retired this set is beyond me, but I was happy to get it in the big retirement sale a few weeks back!

This guy was colored on heavy watercolor paper with Zig Real Brush Clean Color markers. The background was water colored over a stencil from The Crafter's Workshop Designs by Jaime, with watered down Distress Oxide ink.

I discovered, when I made the banner, that the heavy 110 lb cardstock from Michael's cuts fine with a die, but maybe doesn't emboss and fold so well. Yes, the greeting is crooked, and I don't care.

Unicorns or Pegasus?

I discovered, to my amazement, that I didn't have any unicorn stamps. None except the toy pony with a tied on horn and wings.

I went a little crazy and got several unicorn products, including this Avery Elle "Pegasus Pair".  Expect more unicorn cards from me in the future!

These cuties were colored with Spectrum Noir markers, coated with Spectrum Noir sparkle pen, and  cut with my Brother Scan and Cut. I took a white rectangle panel and smeared on some Distress Oxide Inks. Gosh, I love working with that stuff! I then put the whole thing on a plaid background paper from My Favorite Things and added a sentiment strip that is white embossed on black cardstock. I finished the whole thing off with some Nuvo Jewel drops in coordinating colors.

So, if it has wings that makes it a Pegasus? I'm still calling these guys unicorns though.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Aww nuts, how did that happen?

True story: my sister's birthday card was riding around in my purse from September 11th until September 18th. I was going to put it in my mailbox, but we had just had Hurricane Irma and the Post Office wasn't delivering or picking up that day. So I put it in my purse to put in the box near work the next day. And I totally forgot it was in there. It is a very big purse. Her birthday was on the 15th, by the way. Well, she didn't have the greatest day either since she didn't have power for a week at her house.

So, enter the belated birthday card I put together this morning. It is a near copy of one done by My Favorite Things' design team member Inge Groot and a Facebook user in a stamping group I'm in, Monique van Steenbergen.

I cut the three background papers from some old 12 x 12 papers in my stash. So old! I then die cut the white circle and many leaves. I tucked all the leaves behind the white circle, along with some twine, and as I was placing the little squirrel I decided something wasn't right and went back to look at the original. Yes, the leaves and twine should have been behind the squirrel, not the white circle. So I just cut a few more leaves and some more twine and built another layer.

I used Lawn Fawn dies for the background, and a few of the leaves, Paper Smooches Dies for the rest of the leaves, and Gina Marie Designs for the white double stitched circle. The squirrel is from My Favorite Things' "Wild Woodland". He's stamped onto craft card stock and fussy cut. It feels strange not to color the image.

Now this card is going into the mail for my sister, and I can save the purse riding card for next year. I'm super early for that!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sticking your neck out, again?

Here's a little card I made for a sketch challenge that was completed the day after the challenge closed. Yay me, always behind!

These critters are from My Favorite Things' "Sweet Safari", and are colored with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers. The patterned paper is also from MFT, and it's on a kraft card base.

Bitty Bears, again

It went so well I decided to do it again. Once again I used the My Favorite Things Sketch 350. They are also drinking a hot beverage, which must be coffee. This will also go into the Fall Coffee Lover's Bloghop.

Yes, the bears were so cute I did it again! This time the My Favorite Things' "Bitty Bears" sit on leaves from the same paper pack as the plaid, from Lawn Fawn.  Again, the cups are from MFT's "Our Story", and the sentiment is from MFT's "Perk Up".

I have a lot of bears left, so expect to see them again, very soon!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

So, how have YOU bean?

So, the last week and half around here has been all about Hurricane Irma. Since I live on the southeast coast of Florida, it looked like it was going to hit us, and hard. People usually don't start striping the stores of bread and water until 2 days before, but this time it was about 5 days ahead.

Anyway, we got a lot of tree damage, and many people lost power, for days. I was fortunate not to, thank God.

I made this card for the 2107 Fall Coffee Lover's Blog Hop. I also used the current sketch challenge at My Favorite Things. Whew!

I colored the "Bitty Bears" from My Favorite Things Stamps with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers, and put them with coffee mugs on die-cut leaves. The mug is from MFT's "Our Story", and the leaves are from some older Lawn Fawn dies. The coffee sentiment is from Pretty Cute Stamps' "Coffee Sentiments". The plaid paper is from Lawn Fawn. It is hard to see in the photo, but I used the tiny leaves and acorn stamp from MFT's "Wild Woodland" to stamp the brown borders with a tone on tone subtle pattern.

Thanks for stopping by. Have some coffee, OK?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cold nose, warm heart

Today's card is in answer to 2 new challenges this week. The Color Throwdown challenge this week is Hot Pink, Lime Green and Yellow. (CTD456)

I colored my My Favorite Things'  "Top Dog" dogs with Spectrum Noir markers, and arranged them on a circular panel that's stenciled with Twisted Citron Distress Oxide ink, on another panel that has Fossilized Amber, Picked Raspberry and Twisted Citron Distress Oxide ink blended on and sprinkled.

In order to follow the My Favorite Things sketch challenge (mftwsc346), I needed to add a vertical element under the left side of the circle, but I kind of forgot until it was glued down. Vellum to the rescue! It's over, not under, but I'm going to call that artistic license.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Puppydog kisses

Today's birthday card is from a new-to-me stamp that is being retired. Boo hoo, and it's so cute! This is from My Favorite Things' Top Dog.

I colored the dogs with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers, cut them on the Scan and Cut, mounted them on an ink blended panel, and added a tan mat with a dot detail around the edge (Sizzix die). The sentiment and dogs are mounted with foam tape.

Good news: as I mentioned before, these quirky images look ok if they are colored primitively. Bad news, my Scan and Cut follows the edge, even the ones where I painted out of the lines.

Now, I'm off to watch Sharknado 5, Global Swarming.

Friday, August 4, 2017

It's always an adventure!

Everybody loves a challenge, right? This is a combination of the Color Throwdown Challenge 454, and My Favorite Things sketch challenge 344. The color throw down challenge this week is kraft, green and white.

Further, I wanted to use one of my new-to-me stamp sets from My Favorite Things. These are from MFT's newly retired set called "Warm and Fuzzy Friends". I couldn't believe some of the sets that were being retired! Cat-itude! Imagine that!

One of the greatest things about these quirky images is that they look fine colored as if a kid did them. Really. I did these with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers on Bristol Smooth card stock, with no more than 2 colors per section. The fish is embellished with my Spectrum Noir sparkle pen. Fish are usually iridescent, right?

Tail wagging terrific day!

So, I've decided to do the color throwdown challenge this week. I've actually done 2 of them, but we'll talk about the other one later, ok?

This is actually stretching the limits of the color choices, as I did not actually use kraft specifically. I've had these water colored dogs for a while now. They are from Inky Antics' Delightful Dogs #2.

I started by putting down some Distress Oxide colors on some 140 lb water color paper, then spritzing with water and blotting off the excess. Then I used the same 2 colors to create some splatter. I then cut the panel using the largest die from Gina Marie's Designs Stitched Scalloped Edge Dies.

The dogs, which I colored last year using Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers, were cut out using the Scan and Cut and attached flat to the water colored panel. I stamped the sentiment with Versafine black ink and mounted the panel to a bright green card base.

I observed that the Lucky Clover Distress Oxide ink was a good match for the card base before I used the water on it. I don't know if you can see it in this picture, but in some of the "lifted" areas it left behind more blue than green. Fascinating.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

One more time, flamingo!

OK, one last visit to TAWS' Tropic Topic flamingo and palm tree. Those coconuts are just odd looking to me. Here in south Florida coconuts on the tree are not round, nor do they have the 3 dots on them.  But hey, the stamp artist had to take some artistic liberties, right?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hello you! (Archaeology, anyone?)

Another example of my ancient flamingo stamp from The AlleyWay Stamp's Tropic Topic. I've colored the bird and leaves with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers, cut with the Scan and Cut, and mounted it onto a frame from My Favorite Things' Blueprints 27. The sentiment is from Lawn Fawn's Scripty Sayings.

True fact. Whenever you set out to do something, another thing must be done first. After months of going on a single charge, my Canon SLR battery finally ran out. It had been so long since I've had to charge it that I lost my camera bag in my walk-in closet. So I had to re-organize part of the closet today. Yikes!

The truth is I almost always use my phone camera for everything else but taking pictures of cards to post here. For cards I still love my Canon Rebel XS.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another archaeology project

I have a very generous friend who recently gave me the gift of Lion Country Safari. It's a local drive-through zoo. She gifted me with an actual annual pass! And me with no safari themed thank you cards. Come to think of it, I don't (yet) have any safari themed stamp sets. Well, My Favorite Things' big retirement sale to the rescue. But I needed a card today.

The flamingo and palm tree are from an old The Alley Way Stamps' set called Tropic Topic. I think I have only used the snake out of that set. The sun and clouds are from Lawn Fawn, and the grassy borders are from My Favorite Things.

I colored the bird and trees with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers on real water color paper and cut them out with my Brother Scan and Cut.

Now, I'm off to get this in the mail! Fun fact: I used a shark stamp on the envelope!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sharknado - one more time!

Yes, I just had to do one more. I just had to.

The shark is from Avery Elle's Hello Chum, and the tornado is an upside down Christmas tree die. The shark, tornado and background are all water colored with Distress Oxide. The "Smile" die is from My Favorite Things.

I printed the inside sentiments from my computer. Yes, I am stoked up about shark week and a new Sharknado. Silly me.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Challenges are a challenge, alright.

So, I decided to do a challenge this afternoon,  and ended up doing 2 of them. One was a sketch challenge from My Favorite Things, and another was a color challenge.

This was my 2nd attempt at the sketch. It turned out OK, but my first attempt, below, is not my finest work, and I probably won't be putting my name on the back of it.

Things actually started to go very sideways when I edited the photos, however. I was using PhotoShop Elements 11 and got an error message when I attempted to type in my blog address on the photo.  The interwebs told me to uninstall any fonts that came with the program, so I did. Now none of the drop down menus have any text and I have to go find the fonts I uninstalled.

I went back to PSE 2 in the mean time to finish what I had started. I've had that program for about 13 years.

I'll save my Brother Scan and Cut mat story for another time.

Flippin' awesome!

I have been experimenting with brick backgrounds this week, and here's my latest.

The brick background is from a cheap embossing folder (maybe Darice?) that I've had for a while, and I lightly went over it with Distress Oxide in Iced Spruce.

The fat chef is from My Favorite Things' Recipe for Happiness, and the red frame is from MFT's Blueprints 27. The blue background panel is cut with my new rectangle die from Gina Marie Designs' limited run of double stitched inside and outside shapes.

The shapes mostly cut well enough, but I get better results if I use my precision cutting plate in my Big Shot. Also, one end embosses the stitching better than the other, so I put a shim on one end to try to equalize things.

I am getting a little smarter, though. I've started to mark the end of the die that needs the shim so I won't have to test it each time. Live and learn, right?

Mr Chef and his kitchen tools were colored with Spectrum Noir markers.

And now, my random craft room thought: Where can I have put that BIG pad of Bristol Smooth cardstock? It's too big to be so hidden.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Share my lunch?

My Favorite Things' Cat-itude, I'd share my lunch with you.
More cats from My Favorite Things' Cat-itude! What can I say but, "why not"?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Cats + Hearts = Purrfection!

Wow, I am still using up all the cats I colored back in May. Would you believe I'm still not done with them? Most of them were colored with Copics or Spectrum Noir markers and cut with my Scan and Cut, but these were on water color paper scraps, so were fussy cut.

Anyway, this week I ordered and received a bunch of basic shaped dies with double stitching around both the inside and outside edges. These dies, from Gina Marie Designs, are a value, priced much lower than the die sets from big-name companies, but are not no-name dies from China, either.

What I am discovering with these dies is that I must use the precision plate in my Big Shot, and if I want both ends to emboss the stitching evenly I need to put a little shim at one end only. My next project is to cut each one separately and mark the low end so I'll know where to shim them in the future. Oh boy.

Anyway, for the hearts in this card, I cut all three at once and colored each one separately with Distress Oxide Ink.

The front of the pink card base is embossed with the 2nd largest of the rectangle dies from Gina Marie Designs. It's very subtle.

The kitties, from My Favorite Things' Catitude set, were water colored and fussy cut. My Brother Scan and Cut is not so great at cutting things from heavy watercolor paper scraps. When I tape down the scrap the scanner wants to pick up the tape and it's too close to crop out. Yes, I need to get my cutting mat sticky again.

I finished up with some Nuvo Crystal Drops and Nuvo Jewel Drops.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Happy shark week, AGAIN!

No-name Christmas tree die, upside down
So, this week I got another cheap no-name die in the mail. This is a scribble styled Christmas Tree. I have sharks on the brain and I immediately thought of Sharknado. I mean, really, how could I resist?

Avery Elle's Hello Chum shark in a tornado made from a Christmas Tree die.
The water colored back ground has been in my paper scrap box for over a year now, as was the shark (from Avery Elle, Hello Chum). The "Smile" die was also cut and in my scrap box. I just had lost the tittle. That's the eye dot, I just wanted to type it. The smile die is from My Favorite Things.

I considered spelling out Sharknado, but I think if people see the tornado they will get it.

I used Emmit Alphabet from My Favorite Things for the inside "Shark Week", and finished it off with a script "Happy" from an old Stampendous set and a "watermarked" grinning shark in the corner.
Happy shark week with MFT's Emmit Alphabet

Friday, June 30, 2017

Happy shark week!

Avery Elle's Hello Chum shark coming out of a coffee cup
Yes, it's a shark popping up to say, "Hi".  The inside reads:

We're gonna need a bigger coffee pot.

The shark and front sentiment are from Avery Elle's "Hello Chum". The wood grained panel is cut with Avery Elle's Wonky Rectangles, as is the wavy banner.

The cup is an older die from My Favorite Things.

The inside sentiment was created from The Alley Way Stamp's "Gabfest" and Lawn Fawn "Milo's ABCs".

This card was a mess. I actually dragged the back of it through my Versafine ink and had to use a sand eraser on it. I didn't notice the smears inside until I was editing this photo.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Birds love tea, too!

I'm loving these adorable birds from Your Next Stamp's Love Birds set. They are colored with Spectrum Noir Markers, and high lighted with Distress Oxide ink splattered die cuts.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Let the coffee cards begin!

It's that time again! Time for the Summer Coffee Lover's Blog Hop, gotta love it!

My first card for the hop is a stack of cups cut with a no-name die. I cut the die 4 times and hand trimmed it so that each cup could be it's own pattern.

The sentiment is from My Favorite Things. and the scalloped panel is cut with a die from Gina Marie Designs.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Archaeology project, part 2.

I used a stamp so old it had its own whiskers. Well, maybe not that old since it is clear and not red rubber, but still...

The stamp is "Caught Out" by Woodware, and I got it from Jo-Ann's online. The kitty is water colored with Zig Real Brush Clean Color markers, and his eyes and fish bowl are coated with glossy accents.

It was cut down and backed with X-stitched ovals from Gina Marie Designs.

The sentiment and tiny flowers are from My Favorite Things' Catitude set.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pawsome in every way!

More fun and funky cats from My Favorite Things' Catitude set. I still have a few more to use, so this isn't the end, my friends!

I stenciled the brick wall and setting sun with stencils from MFT and Distress inks, onto Bristol smooth card stock. The cats had been colored previously with Spectrum Noir markers.

I may go and get a little bird for the top of the fence. Maybe.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Floral Bliss, Part 4

For this floral wedding card, I used (again!) the large spray from the Simon Says Stamp June card kit. I used the barely beige ink from the kit, but the stamp still had Versafine from the previous stamping, so the lines were somewhere between in darkness.

I used the Daniel Smith watercolors for most of the flowers and all the leaves. The small pink flowers were water colored with the Worn Lipstick Oxide ink that came with the kit. I gold embossed the sentiment onto a strip of dark Kraft card stock and mounted it to the center between the 2 sprays.

I cut the panel out using a Gina Marie Designs die and mounted it to a Kraft card base. I used a white gel pen in the centers of the flowers and finished off with some large no-name iridescent sequins.

I'm ready to move on to different images now, I think.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Floral Bliss, Part 3

Today's edition of the floral bliss card is simple watercoloring using the stamp, paper, and paint from the June Simon Says Stamp card kit. I used Versafine ink and heat embossed the image, painted witht he Daniel Smith water color sample in the kit, and cut the panel with a cross-stitched rectangle die. I used a white gel pen to highlight the center of the flowers, too.

I got the idea to cut the big leaves and raise them up a little from Vicky P. on YouTube. I foam-mounted the panel on a royal blue card base.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

You're kinda pawsome!

I thought I'd try my hand at a challenge today. In fact, two challenges from My Favorite Things and one challenge from myself.

I'm doing the MFT Color Challenge # 71, and the Wednesday Sketch Challenge.

The colors from the color challenge are Orange Fizz, Daffodil, Blu Raspberry, and Pure Plum.

I struggled with these colors. I only had one card stock that was even close to Pure Plum, and I didn't like it with any orange in my stash. Just, no.

Oh, the challenge I put upon myself? Well, I wanted to use an image I had already colored and cut out. I have quite a few of them in a little bowl on the top of my desk, and quite a lot more in a plastic box under my desk. 

This little kitty is from MFT's Purrfect Friends set, and yes, I did him in turquoise deliberately. That's as close to the Blu Raspberry I could get.

My reaction to this card? Meh.  Oh well, I have plenty more cats to go. And seagulls. And dogs. And fish, sharks, dinosaurs, and lots and lots of quirky birds.

Floral Bliss, Part 2

Once again, I used the Simon Says Stamp June 2017 Card Kit, and tried my hand at no-line water coloring. I'm not thrilled with it, but I pushed on with it.

I started by stamping the image with the SSS Barely Beige ink that was included in the kit onto some Ranger watercolor paper, also included. This was my first experience with the Ranger paper, and I was surprised at how lightweight it was. The 140 lb paper I've been using is quite a bit heftier. I think if I ever want to cut more water colored images with the ScanNCut that this might be the way to go.

I then colored the pretty flower spray with the Daniel Smith watercolor samples that were also in the kit. After blundering my way through the painting I had to walk away from it for a while. When I came back to it I had a plan of action!

I fussy cut the image and mounted it to an oval of light yellow card stock that had been cut with a Gina Marie dotted oval die, and embossed with a Darice script embossing folder. 

I chose a very bright stripe background from a My Favorite Things paper pack called Fun and Frolic, and mounted that to an eye-watering bright yellow card base. I chose a sentiment from Simon Says Stamp's Sketchy Banner, and used the matching sketchy banner die.

Finally, I used my gloss white crystal Nuvo drops to highlight the center of the flowers and the upper right and lower left of the card. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Floral Bliss Part 1

I was thrilled to get the Simon Says Stamp June card kit, featuring the Floral Bliss stamp set.

Many of the crafters on YouTube are embossing the main floral spray image in gold on black and water coloring it with Finetec Mica watercolors.

I'm working with what I have, which is Artist's Loft iridescent watercolors.  

I heat embossed the image twice with generic gold embossing powder onto heavy black cardstock and painted the images with my cheapo watercolor set. 

I used some patterned paper from the card kit, and a banner die from Avery Elle. I messily embossed the edges of the banner, too. Finally, I splattered the whole thing with gold watercolor paint from my Gansai Tambi set. 

You know, I don't know anyone who's getting married. But at least I'm prepared!  

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Paws and take a moment

OK, just one more from My Favorite Things' Cat-itude, then I'll stop. For a while, anyway, since I have a lot of cat images colored and cut, they will be coming back at a later date.

I'm still loving my custom handmade stamp, too: