Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Whole World

Today, the world. Tomorrow, the universe! Or maybe not.  That sounds like a whole lot of work if you ask me.
I made this card today. It is not an original design. I visited someone's blog who had a link to a tutorial on how to make this card. Unfortunately, I don't remember who or where otherwise I would give credit. I love this globe die and I thought this was brilliant use of it.  I mean, sure, what else are you going to do with a globe die? But the idea of shading it and putting it on a cleverly embossed and sponged background was a great eye opener for me. I'm really using my distress inks more and more now that I've bought myself a blending tool.
Who knew this was such a must-have item?! It is featured on many crafting desks when you visit Workdesk Wesdnesdays. I'm glad I've been shown the light. Now that I have one of these, I see why so many crafters have more than one. I'm not ready to go that crazy yet, but check back with me in a day or two.

The Fine Print: Globe die by Sizzix/Tim Holtz, bookplate embossing plate by Tim Holtz, distress inks by Tim Holtz (are you seeing a pattern here?), brads by Recollections, fancy metallic shimmery paper by Recollections (ah, a new pattern), blue and green papers by DCWV and SEI respectively.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Make Margaritas

I actually got off my butt and hunted down some different stamps to use.  Don't get too excited. I did it because I needed to make a pink and green card for a swap.
Somewhere in my grand stash I have some pre-printed cards from the Michael's dollar bin that have limes all over them. I wanted to use them for this card but couldn't find them easily, so I opted to use this fun shaped card that I picked up at a convention. It had a white front piece but since this is a pink and green swap I made a new one in pink. As you OCD people can see, it isn't an exact fit, but that is okay (no, really, it's okay, breath, it'll be fine). My circle punch up and died suddenly so I used a die to cut the partial circle. I fun making this card but now I need a margarita to drown my sorrows over my dead punch.

The Fine Print: card base by The Paper Cut, stamps by A Muse Artstamps, punches by Marvy, half circle done with Spellbinders, flowers by Prima, baker's twine by We R Memory Keepers, epoxy brad by unknown.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Touch of Kindness

Sorry, I don't have a heartwarming story about an act of kindness.  
What I do have is a couple of cards I made using the Touch of Kindness stamp set.
I currently have one of my summer paper containers out and lying next to my desk, so I used papers from there because I was too lazy to go searching in any other containers, piles, or stashes. I pulled out several I would like to play with so maybe you'll see more of this set soon.  Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm too lazy to pull out another stamp set too.  Yeah, summer doldrums. Aren't they great?

The Fine Print: "Thanks" script stamp by A Muse Artstamps, all other stamps by Stampin' Up Touch of Kindness set, papers by DCWV, circle punches by Marvy, scallop border punch by EK Success (that's totally my favorite border, in case you cared to know).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WOYWW No. 160

It's Wednesday and that means time for the latest and biggest snoop around crafting spaces on the Internet.  My desk is heaped with stuff today.  Monday I picked everything up off the floor, piled it on my desk to vacuum.  And then I left it.  This is the end result minus a few things that have migrated back to the floor.
Things have been shuffled around a bit. I was on the phone with my Mom last night and since I was trapped by the phone cord (so old fashioned, I know) and only had one hand all I accomplished was moving stuff around some.  It was terribly unproductive.  I did make this card though with bits and pieces.  I feel like it needs something more, but I'm not sure what.
I have a couple more ATCs from the WOYWW birthday swap to show off.  I got the fabulous oriental girl from Lottie. She is heat embossed to perfection and colored exquisitely.  The pretty in pink elegant birdcage is by Di (Pixie's Workshop).

The Fine Print: Hmmm... whaddya know? I don't have anything to put here. That isn't to say it ain't all good, cuz it's pretty good. In fact, you could say it's fine.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Touch of Pink

When I was a little girl I loved pink and wanted a pink frilly canopy bed (and being the princess, I got one). I was an incredibly tomboyish little girl though, but dang I liked my pink.  I don't really do much pink these days those. It does not rank high (or at all) on my list of favorite colors.  That doesn't mean I can't break it out and use it once in awhile though.
I like the card. I have to say that I think the font the greeting is in is a little weird.  It is made so a couple few of the letters are bold. I dunno. It doesn't do it for me. To me it looks like I did a poor job stamping it.

The Fine Print: Paper by DCWV 2012 Spring Fling stack (it was some weird piece of paper with large strawberries in the corner and these pink rays radiating from them), stamps by Stampin' Up "Touch of Kindness," bling by & Co., scallop punch by Marvy.  And that's all she wrote!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Fun

Of course, here in Southern Arizona 'summer fun' is a misnomer.  There ain't much fun about summer. It gets brutally hot and sticky and unless you are a giant corporation sticking it to The Man you can't afford air conditioning in decent amounts (or if you don't have a craft hobby to support).  But, since there are only 6 people left in town here, I can only assume that everyone else is out having lots of fun this summer.

One thing people do that is fun is go to the beach.  Doesn't that sound like fun?  Blindingly beautiful water lapping quietly, sand between your toes and in your shorts, the sun frying warming your skin... heaven.
Why am I blathering on about summer fun you ask? Well, because it is time for the A Muse Studio challenge and the theme is summer fun.  You don't have to use A Muse Studio stamps to join the challenge, but it increases your chances to win a fabulous prize. So make a card showing off your idea of summer fun and join in today!

The Fine Print: All products by A Muse Studio except for the deckle edged scissors by Fiskars. Stamps from the "Life's a Breeze" set, dies used "cloud duo" and "scallop borders (3)," papers used toffee, ocean, bubblegum, sugar, and winter sky (which isn't very summery, but a give a girl a break, would ya?!).

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sometimes I Even Impress Myself

I saw this card in Just Cards Volume 26 and immediately had to read how it was done.  The colors were too vibrant for it to be chalked over Versamark ink or colored pencils over white embossing.  I'm not a big fan of solid stamps, but this card really spoke to me.

It turns out that it was made by coloring over white embossing with alcohol markers (AKA Copics). No kidding?  I have to try that.

Like I said, I'm not that big a fan of solid stamps so I didn't have a lot to chose from.  A nice field of wild flowers, like in the magazine would be perfect.  Since I didn't have that I used a nice sold rose.  Oh my! IT WORKED!  If you've read my blog any you know I hate heat embossing so the fact that that went well was exciting in and of itself.  Then when the technique worked just like described, well, I was joyous.

So much so, that I had to try it again.  And it worked a second time!  I love it when things come together like that.  It impresses me.  Sure, it doesn't take much to impress me, but you know, take what you can.

The Fine Print: Wildflowers card by Donna Sanders, stolen blantantly from Just Cards Vol. 26 without permission (but credited, dammit).  Rose stamp by Penny Black, daisy stamp by Hero Arts, Love script by A Muse Studio, thank you script by Endless Creations, scallop border punch by Fiskars, oval punch by Marvy, both label punches by Stampin' Up.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stick a Fork in Me, I'm Done

My fork card
Today was my big stamp club meeting.  I have such a love-hate relationship with this group.  I should explain that person in charge of this group is me, so it isn't just like a group I'm a member of.  I have to be in charge and be responsible.  How icky is that?  I do have a co-conspirator in crime, for which I am very grateful for.

Mostly the group is fun and people truly enjoy our monthly meetings.  Like any large group, we've had our ups and downs.  The biggest hurdle we've faced is the loss of our previous meeting place when the restaurant we met at closed its doors.  Try to find a centralized location for 45+ people to meet, for free, that serves diverse food at a good price, that will let us hang out for an extended period of time and will let us have the room every 4th Saturday of the month. It isn't so easy.  You'll never make everyone happy. 

Today we tried a new place that a couple of our members found and hashed out all details for.  So it was with some trepidation I went to today's meeting, because you just never know with a new place.  But hey! It all worked out excellent. 
By Nancy Stroman
One of the fun things we do in our group is called a mystery challenge item.  One person brings in the mystery item and distributes it to everyone who is willing to play.  It is a mystery so you don't know what it is until you get it.  Your challenge is to make a card or art project using that item.  We swap out items by random draw.

Last month we had small silver-colored plastic forks to play with.  Most people used the fork as a fork, but some people got very creative with theirs.  One person used just the tines across a window stamp to create a jail cell.  Another lady put hers on a hand-drawn roadway (the fork in the road, get it?!).  The one I laughed at most was by my friend, who hated the fork so much she wanted to kill it.  So she got out her heat tool and zapped it with extreme prejudice.  It turned black and melted a bit but mostly it shrunk into a much smaller version of itself.  It was very cool looking. She used it as a gnarled tree trunk.

The new challenge

For next month those of us who were up the challenge were given letter charms.  My letter was a V. I used to have these myself.  They hole is designed to hold an eyelet so you can attach the letter to your project. No ideas have jumped to mind yet, but I do have a month to think about it.

The Fine Print: Huh, I really got nothing for ya here.  The forks came from the grocery store and are called appetizer forks.  The papers I used in my card came free with a UK magazine.  The picnic letters and ant are from K and Company.  Any and all suggestions with what to do with the Letter V are welcome!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Flower Trio

I made this card for an exchange my stamp club is having tomorrow.  The theme is flowers.  That is a pretty wide open theme when you think about it. I have lots of floral stamps, how to chose?!  I poked around in the wood mounted flower stamp stash (I didn't even both with clear or cling stamps) and finally decided on these.  I then found some nice papers to go with them and the card was born.  I was trying to remember if this set of stamps really only had three matching flowers in it, or is there a forth one?  Do you know?  There were only these 3 together in the drawer, but that doesn't mean anything.

I had a vacation day today. I know many people equate "vacation day" with a nice, relaxing day. Oh no, not for me! I ran myself ragged, doing all sorts of different things today and now I'm exhausted. AND I hurt. That darn chiropractor guy beat me up.  He's mean. I'm going to tell my mommy!

The Fine Print: Stamps by Hero Arts, papers by My Mind's Eye "Vanity Fair," card base from Club Scrap "Tahiti" kit (I'm going to use that stuff up yet!), chocolate pearls by A Muse Studio.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Perky Birthday

I made this card last night. I thought it was too plain and tried to do various different things to it but nothing made me happy. So plain it stayed. I think it works though so you can see the bold background.  I colored it to match.  This morning I added some jewels to the corner of the piece with the image. I can't say it did anything for it.  Sorry I didn't think to take a picture of it.

The Fine Print: No, that photo isn't fuzzy; you're drunk.  Stamp by Penny Black, papers by... dang, I don't remember. Colored with Copics. And that's the way it is June 21st two thousand and twelve, year of the licorice twist.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW

Hello my fellow desk snoopers!  It is time to join in the insanity that is WOYWW. The Queen of this madness, Julia, is stuck in a crafting bog where the hands are not making what the brain envisions. I've been there, done that, tossed the results in the trash.  She is hoping that we'll have some finished product to spur her on.  Thanks to a Stamping Up Workshop, she's in luck here.

First the desk with piles of this and that and several unfinished project (don't look too close, Julia!)
Next the cards I made at last night's Stampin' Up workshop.
Check this out! As part of the WOYWW 3rd anniversary we did an ATC exchange and this gem came in the mail. I love the edging, it looks almost stitched.
By Barbara D Ramsey
Just for grins and giggles, here is a wide side view of my crafting space.
Julia asks that we keep our posts brief since there are so many desks to visit and so little time. If you have a chance though, and would like to check out the creative thought process of a schizophrenic princess, check out my post from Monday.

The Fine Print: All four cards made with Stampin' Up products--papers, stamps, inks, dies, punches, ribbons, etc. The star card's punches are retired and the greeting is computer generated.  I'm often asked why the one corner of my crafting space appears to have nothing in it.  It has two large covered cat litter boxes. When we've looked at new places to live, I always look for where the litter boxes would go first, because that's the pathetic life I live. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Return of the Rabbit

For some reason that title sounds all ominous to me, like some spooky dread music should be playing, but none of that nonsense here. I just meant I used the same stamp I used over the weekend to make another card.  Just like over the weekend, I was poking around in the paper box and found paper that would go perfect with this image.  This stamp is turning out to be a whole lotta fun.
Although making this card wasn't that fun. I was having one of those "all thumbs and all dumbs" moments where I couldn't get anything to go right.  You know the old adage, measure twice, cut wrong anyway.

The Fine Print: Useless fact of the day-did you know Night of the Lepus was filmed in Tucson and that my little brother and I saw it when we were much too young to be watching something like that. Another useless fact-there was this drill/pump machine being used in the neighborhood that sounded exactly like the suspense music in the movie that would scare the tar out of us and send us running towards the house in a dead panic. It's a wonder we survived childhood.  Anyway... stamp by Stampabilities, awesome watermelon paper by unknown.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Making of an ATC...

I have to make ATCs for a swap I'm in.  They aren't due until next Saturday and I realize that this isn't the Friday before, but really I would prefer to get them done early.  I just don't do it often.  First I ponder the themes we were given: scenic or flags.  When I signed up I totally was going to do scenic with a miniature Stampscapes scene.  However, I changed my mind once I heard the total number we had to make: 15.  If you think I'm making 15 Stampscape scenes, you would be wrong.  I opted for flags and wanted to use this stamp.

However, I was certain that this stamp had been used to death in previous flag/patriotic swaps.  I don't know why that mattered, but I felt the need to check it out.  So I had to get out my book of ATCs and check.  Surprisingly no one had used this stamp before. I was golden.
I knew I wanted to incorporate my blue shimmery paper into the design, so that meant finding it. I was pretty sure it was on the closet floor in a container of paper, and it was.  Doesn't everyone keep paper on the closet floor?  I keep a lot of stuff on the floor there.
Since this was going to be an ATC swap with multiple layers I rejected using the expensive 110 lb paper for the cards and opted for more inexpensive paper. I got a pleasant surprise when I found out that that white paper I found to use was shimmery as well.

Then it was time to cut up the papers. I've learned over the years not to cut up all 15 at once. It is better to make one complete one first because you just never know what twists and turns you will encounter along the way (this is called 'foreshadowing').

Then I had to go find some markers, with the help of my lovely assistant, Poppy.  However, the only Tombow maker I could find was a light blue one and I was terribly unhappy with the resulting image.  I wasn't sure if I should cut it following the waves or try to square it off.  I did the wave and didn't like it.  Worse though, was the color. Light blue isn't our flag's color, nevermind that our flag doesn't have a heart on it. I just did not like it.

At this point the camera declared its batteries dead. I complained to the cat for allowing the batteries to go dead while making a documentary. The cat was unphased.  At that point I decided to make dinner and feed the cats. As I was pulling shrimp out of the freezer (for us, not the cats) I noticed two things.  One that that shrimp needed to be detailed (as in tails pulled off, de-tailed) and that there were spare AA batteries in the freezer.  After dinner I pondered my ATC design.  Without a better blue, I would have to go for a different stamp.  I had some ribbon out to use on my ATC and that influenced me to try a certain set.  The ribbon was called Americana and so is this set.

 But puttering around with it wasn't doing "it" for me.

I then thought that maybe I should use my new A Muse stamp set. I mean, after all I sell the stuff and I should make more samples with it for the world to see in hopes that they will want to buy it.  People always want stamps they see samples made with, right?  Right!

However, the fun and funky grundge flag was too big for an ATC.
Then, Poppy reminded me that I had some older markers in the rolly cart. We both hoped that there was a darker blue in there and that it would work.  We were in luck.

I decided to square off (rectangle off, really, but that sounds dumb) the image this time since I didn't like it cut with the wave. I also decided that it would need a red mat to mimic the red, white and blue in the flag and in my ribbon.  I perused the red paper stash and found there wasn't enough red scraps in the right color for 15 mats so it was off to one of the many paper storage units for the nice dark red paper.

Once I got that matted, I started thinking about my ribbon. I knew I wanted to use that cool Americana ribbon, but how.  I thought of wrapping it around but then I thought that attaching it with a Fastenator staple would be awesome.  It would give my ATC another dimension and if I used the staples with the star cutouts in them, that would ever cooler. 

Image how shocked I was to discover that there were no staples with star cutouts!  Wherever did I get that idea from?  I did find a different staple with a starburst like design on it.  By that time I realized that to attach the ribbon with those staples would require me to have 30 of them (you know, 15 ATCs x 2 staples for each side of the ribbon [see, some math is useful]). I only had 24 of the starburst design, plus having two Fastenator staples per small hunk of ribbon would look really clunky.

I thought about using regular staples and started actually playing around with the ribbon and ATC.  That's when I realized that the ribbon wasn't going to work no matter what I did.  It made me sad, but sometimes that is how it goes.
I knew I had some red and white baker's twine that I could wrap instead of ribbon. I wondered if I might also has some blue and white baker's twine so I could put them together. I opened the twine drawer and what did I find?
Red, white, AND blue twine.  *ding*ding*ding* We have a winner.  And yes, the cat helped. Long ago I learned from my artistic mother that odd numbered elements were more pleasing to the eye than even numbered ones.  My ATC design was currently a main image and a wrap of twine, that's two elements. I decided that I would use the Americana stamp set and stamp "USA" in the bottom corner to give my that needed third element. It would be subtle enough to not be distracting but help make the eye happy. 

I also had to ponder if I wanted to knot the twine or put it in a bow. I knew a bow would look better but I also knew that I can't keep my own shoes tied, so how was I going to get a bow to stay put?  Why, with nail polish, of course.  Everyone knows that.  I mean, even my own husband knows that.*
I don't actually own nail polish though. I have this bottle of crap for soft nails that stinks a thousand times worse than regular nail polish, but I had to work with what I had.  I put that on the bow and spent the rest of the evening wondering just what on earth was that horrible smell?  Oh yeah!  That damn nail crap!  I got the ATC finished by then there was the whole business of what to put on the back of the ATC.  I had two ATC-specific designs to chose from.

Which one did I pick?  Neither.
I put some random stuff on there instead.  The slash is so I can number them.  I need to make 15 but sometimes I end up making more, so no numbering until I'm completely done.  See how ardourous this whole process is?  See how it can take the whole day to complete one project?  See how come I can't create anything at get-togethers away from home?  I think as I go.  I pull out a ton of stuff. I make a huge mess.  It is all part of the process.
Thanks for reading all this.  How do you  create?

The Fine Print: I'm too exhausted for this, really.  God Bless America flag stamp by Stampin' Up, Americana stamp set by The Angel Company, Let Freedom Ring set by A Muse Studio, Americana ribbon by Michael's, RWB twine by The Twine Bitch (okay, not really, I can't remember who makes it but wouldn't that be a fun company name?).  *Okay, true confession time. I had no clue that to keep a bow shut tight you put clear nail polish on it. My husband told me.  He learned it from his crafty mother.  My mother somehow missed teaching me this important life lesson.  Maybe that's why my shoes won't stay tied.