Friday, August 30, 2013

Heartfelt Wishes...

Wow...Friday already, and almost the last day of August!  Here in the U.S., we're getting ready for a 3-day holiday weekend...the last of the summer.  We have a big block party scheduled this weekend in our neighborhood to celebrate the end of summer (although the crowd does seem smaller these days as so many of the young people who grew up here are now away at college, or moved on with young families of their own).

Today's card is an A2 size (4-1/4" x 5-1/2") but the sentiment block extends over the edge on the right side, so it will need to be mailed in an envelope normally meant for a 5" x 7" card.  But that's not unusual. I often have to mail my cards in envelopes that are one size larger, since there's so much dimension on them.  Yes, all that dimension costs a little more in postage, but I reason if the person is special enough for me to make a handmade card for them, they're special enough for the few extra cents it costs to mail it to them. :)

So here's a shabby and sassy little number to end the week on...

The cheesecloth under the floral cluster is colored a very pale pink using a spritzer filled with Spun Sugar Distress Ink. I almost didn't purchase the bundle of the pink and plum stamens...wondered if I'd get enough use out of them. I'm sure happy I hit that "buy" button now, LOL.  They were the perfect fit for this card...

The Maya Road chipboard heart was painted white, distressed with a few swipes of Gingerbread VersaMagic ink, then coated with clear German glass glitter for just a subtle hint of sparkle...

I love using pearl sprays (you can usually find them in the wedding section of large craft stores).  They're just the ticket when you want a light touch of gems to cover a large area, and when adhesive-backed pearl flourishes seem too "heavy" looking...

Patterned papers:   Prima Botanical collection (pink text);   My Minds Eye Miss Caroline/Fiddlesticks collection (gold stripe);   
Authentique Cherish collection (tan rose print)
Chipboard heart:   Maya Road          Sentiment stamp:   Hero Arts          Die:   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves
Roses:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Stamens:   ChocolateLetters on Etsy          Pearl spray and lace:   local craft store
Pearls:   Recollections          Miscellaneous:   cheesecloth (dyed)

Thanks so much for visiting today...have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Just a (Hybrid) Note...

Years ago, I used to make all my clothes...even took a couple advanced tailoring classes in college. I loved being in a fabric store, spending hours looking at and matching fabrics, feeling all the different textures and weaves, and dreaming of different ways to combine parts of different patterns to make unique outfits.  When the cost of making my own suits and dresses and casual clothes became higher than ready-made, and time for hobbies became less and less, sewing faded as my main hobby.

These days, I guess I've substituted papers for my old fabric obsession. :)  I can spend a couple hours just going through my stash of patterned papers, matching 3-5 different ones and stacking them together for future projects. And now and then, I like to dabble with my digital images, making collages and printing out card-sized digital papers to add to the fun. That's where the papers for today's card came from...with a little help from some scraps from previous projects.

This time I printed out two copies of the digital collage, cutting one into a decorative oval shape to sit above the rectangular one, to add some interest and dimension to the usual placement I'd use...

Small touches of Stickles are on the butterfly wings and daisy centers...

The little fabric daisies are from a chain craft store, with a bit of Aqua Stickles added to the centers for fun...

The sentiment tag is held by a Tim Holtz memo pin that's shabbied with white acrylic paint and fancied up with a crystal spacer and cream pearl...

Digital Paper:  Playing WIth Brushes Torn Paper edge over MTerasawa/Designer Digitals paper
Patterned papers:   BoBunny Gabrielle collection (tan);   My Minds Eye Lost & Found/Madison (banners)
Die:   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves          Punch:   Martha Stewart Medium Branch          Daisies:   local craft store
Hug Snug seam binding          Tim Holtz Memo Pin (embellished)
Digital collage elements:          
Background papers:   MTerasawa/Designer Digitals   
French label:
Butterfly/daisies image:

Thanks for stopping by for a visit today!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Deconstructed Sketch 115 - Happy Birthday...

Happy Monday, everyone!  I sat down to craft a bit this weekend...and I sat....and I sat...with a totally blank mind and no creative ideas coming....arghhh! :)  So I turned to a few of my favorite sketch sites, and started first with the current sketch from The Deconstructed Sketch.

And just to make it more fun, I pulled out papers in my favorite colors - pale pink, cream, and light brown - and made up a purely feminine, and slightly shabby, birthday card with an image from Graphic 45's A Ladies Diary collection as the focal point...

And here's the sketch it's based on...

I wanted to make the floral clusters to the sides of the image seem to flow right off the tag, so I included roses in the same coral color, and leaves in as close a green as I could get to the leaves in the image...

And when the tag needed something more than the seam binding ribbon at the top, the large pearl cluster seemed to fit just perfectly...

Patterned papers:   My Minds Eye Lost & Found/Madison collection (stripe, text, cream);   
Authentique Grace/Poised (dot)
Rose image:   Graphic 45 A Ladies Diary collection (8x8)          Scalloped laces: (tea dyed)
Dies:   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves         Punch:   Martha Stewart Medium Branch
Flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Pearls:   Recollections          Hug Snug seam binding 

Thanks for visiting today...I hope your week is starting with a smile!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy (Shabby) Birthday, Sir...

Happy Friday!  After a lengthy post the other day, today I have a short and sweet one.

It was time for me to make another masculine birthday card...and time for me to come up with something new other than the digital collages I've been using for them. :)  It was also time to break from my blue/brown and green/brown combos that I usually seem to put together for these types of cards.

So today I'm sharing a shabby card that's still masculine...burgundy and cream, with metallic accents...there's a leafy pattern on the top paper, so I added a couple cream leafy branches around the center collage...

After unraveling the edges a bit, I scrunched a small piece of burlap with a running stitch through the center, and glued it down in a random pattern...then added some sprockets and spinners on top...

The sentiment tag sits inside a memo pin, and a small piece of film tape ribbon peeks out behind the burlap...

Patterned papers:   Prima Botanical collection
Spinners, sprockets, film ribbon, memo pin:   Tim Holtz
Copper gems:   Queen & Co.          Dies:  Spellbinders Foliage Two
Miscellaneous:   cheesecloth, burlap

Thanks for visiting today...have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lili of the Valley...It's Another Christmas Hop!...

Hello, everyone!  Lili of the Valley (LOTV) is getting ready to release the second group of new Christmas stamps, and the Design Team is showing off the new designs in another blog hop today. This is the second set of their 2013 Christmas collection, and there are 20 stamps, including some of your favorite characters, and a few more traditional designs.

The new stamps will be available to purchase on the LOTV website starting at midday (UK time) Sunday, August 25th.

As you may know, I focus on showcasing the LOTV sentiment and background stamps. Although there are no new sentiment stamps in this part of the release, I still wanted to participate in the hop by sharing how I used a couple of the existing Christmas sentiment stamps as focal points on the cards to get two different looks when I was done.

Once again, there is a great prize up for grabs on the hop.  We don't know whose blog it's hidden in, so to make sure you have the best chance to win, please visit and leave a comment on every blog along the way!

You will have a couple days to join in - the "lucky blog," and a randomly drawn winner from all the comments left on the lucky blog, will be announced on the Ideas to Inspire blog on Saturday evening, August 24th (UK time. If you're like me and constantly forget how to convert times for all our different U.S. time zones, here's a site to help you convert to BST (British Summer Time) from all the time zones around the country and the world).

The prize is a full set of the new Christmas stamps from this release...
that's 20 rubber stamps, one each of all the newest designs!

Here's a full list of all the blogs taking part on the hop.  Remember, please visit them all and leave a comment on each one to have the best chance of winning the great prize...

Kathy (you're here!)

So on to the fun of seeing some cards!  As I mentioned above, there are no new sentiments in this part of the release, but I did have some fun with Set 33, Christmas Grungy Messages.  I used two of the stamps from this set on two separate cards, placing the sentiment in the same area of the card fronts, but changing the technique and embellishments around it, and getting two cards with very different appeal.

On the first card, I took the "grungy" feel of the stamp to heart, stamping the sentiment onto kraft cardstock that has the true texture and color of a paper bag, and contrasted that grungy look with more elegant and bright white embellishments...

I masked off the outside border of the sentiment stamp, and first stamped just the sentiment with black ink, adding some Stickles to the centers of the little hearts.  Then I stamped just the border in white ink, and coated it with an embossing powder that has some silver mixed in among the white powder, and heat embossed just the border, to make the sentiment stand out on the front.

After adding the lace, and the die cut poinsettia (also accented with Stickles), I stamped one of the tags from Set 32, Christmas Sentiment Tags and fastened it behind the flower.

There are so many options for getting the look of snow. This time, I chose to use white German glass glitter to make the falling snowflakes and form the base of the snowbank at the bottom (the glass glitter gives it a built-up, uneven surface as a real snowbank might have). To get the sparkly snow look along the bottom, I made a batch of Polar White Flower Soft mixed with coarse clear glitter, and glued that over the glass glitter.

The little tree is a button that's been in my "stash" for who-knows-how-long. LOL

Here's a side view to give you an idea of the dimension on the card...

It's so hard to capture the look of the clear glitters in a photo, but here are closeups of the Star Dust Stickles used on the poinsettia and the little tag tucked behind it...

Sentiment stamps:  LOTV Set 33 Christmas Grungy Messages;   Set 32, Christmas Sentiment Tags
Dies:   Spellbinders Layered Poinsettia          Punch:   Martha Stewart Medium Branch
Pearls & Crystals:   Prima and Recollections          Lace:
Miscellaneous:  Star Dust Stickles,   Stampendous Winter Wonderland embossing powder

On the second card, the sentiment stamp is from the same Set 33, and it's in the same location on the front of the card, but this time it's surrounded by Country Lady  patterned papers and sits down inside a die-cut "well."  The combinations of the colors and patterns give this card a more "cottage-chic" feel. 

When I saw this particular sentiment, I started singing the Christmas carol of the same name (in my head...not out loud...even I can't handle the sound of my singing! LOL), and that's where I got the idea to add the music bar die cut...

This time, when I stamped the sentiment, I masked off the edge and the words "Merry Christmas," and stamped the rest in black, then went back and stamped "Merry Christmas" in red.  Die cut graduated sizes of squares are cut into the patterned papers above the sentiment, and they're all adhered to the card using foam tape to add dimension to the sentiment block. 

In hindsight - and as a tip if you want to do something similar - I probably didn't need to mask off the outside border of the stamp.  The stamp is a rectangular shape, and I was trying to fit it into a square cutout, so I masked off the border so the bottom line wouldn't show at the bottom of the cutout. But I'd forgotten at that point that I intended to put the small pompom trim beneath the sentiment to "fill in" the bottom of the square...the trim would have covered the bottom of the border. :)

Once again I used my mixture of Flower Soft and coarse glitter sprinkled on the flowers, die cut pine branches, and a strip along the top of the pompom trim.

One reason I like this handmade mix is because clear glitter often doesn't show up unless you tilt the card just right...and Flower Soft on its own doesn't have sparkle. But by mixing the two, you get the best of both...the white of the Flower Soft shows up as dustings of snow, and the coarse glitter adds a little sparkle to it all!

I stamped the word "Noel" from the same sentiment set, and turned it into a little tag tucked under a couple of the red flowers...

Patterned papers:   Country Lady collection, NitWit Collections for Lili of the Valley
Sentiment stamps:   LOTV Set 33, Christmas Grungy Messages
Flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Pearl flourishes:   Recollections
Dies:   Impression Obsession Pine Branch;   Memory Box Virtuoso Music
Lace,  mini pompom trim,  pearl spray:   local craft store

Phew! Are you still with me?  Good! :)   Now it's time to hop on over to Kim's blog to see the beauty she has waiting for you.  Don't forget to stop by the Ideas to Inspire blog on Saturday night (UK time) to find out if you're the lucky winner!  

Thanks so much for stopping by...have fun on the hop, and good luck!

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's a Shabby Vintage Kind of Day...

Happy Monday, everyone! Summer is still in full swing around here, and soft colors are still on my mind.

Today's card is definitely vintage-themed, with lots of shabby touches.  When I pulled the patterned paper that's at the front of the card, it had a little more contrast and color than I wanted.  So I softened it with a lightly watered-down coating of gesso, and a bit of gentle sanding.  After that, I used a stencil and applied modeling paste across the bottom to add the vintage text...a light tan chalk ink pad was dragged over the dried modeling paste to tint the text.

Here are a couple close-ups of the floral cluster...most of it sits down inside the chipboard frame that you see peeking out on the right side of the card.  It starts with a layer of cheesecloth, then a large fabric flower, a gathered lace layer, another smaller coral fabric flower that's been dusted with white acrylic paint to soften the tone, and finally the paper roses and aster daisies, with a stamen cluster in the upper corner. The dyed seam binding bows are tucked under the lace layer and glued down...

The chipboard frame was "vintaged," too.  It was inked and crackled painted, then a tan acrylic paint was dry-brushed around the edges...

Patterned papers:   Prima Nature Garden and Tea Thyme collections
Stencil:   The Crafters Workshop Mini Antiquities          Chipboard frame:   Tattered Angels
Dies:   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves;   Impression Obsession Mini Rectangle Tags
Paper roses, aster daisies:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Fabric flowers:   Bazzill
Stamens:   ChocolateLetters on Etsy          Pearls:   Recollections
Sentiment stamp:  Lili of the Valley/Christmas Handwritten Phrases, Set 35
Laces and pearl strands:   local craft store          Hug Snug seam binding          Tim Holtz memo pin (embellished)
Miscellaneous:   cheesecloth, Golden modeling paste, gesso, crackle medium

Thanks so much for stopping in for a visit...I hope your week is starting with a smile!

Friday, August 16, 2013


Friday already! For many in our area, this has been the last week before school starts again, although some schools in a neighboring district started back this week. Why do summers seem to fly by so fast compared to the other seasons? :)

Today's shabby card is one with sentiments that could be appropriate for cheering up a dear friend or relative, or simply as an all-occasion card.  It features some of Lili of the Valley's *new* Antebellum collection papers, as well as a few different stamps...

The piece of music paper with the rose was perfect for the front of this card. There's a space to the right of the rose that's just the right size to stamp a large sentiment...this one is from Set 61, Quotables/Celebrate.  I applied some Diamond Stickles around the edges of the petals of the rose just to accentuate them a little...

The small piece of music paper behind the rose piece is stamped using Set 46, Background Bits/Notes, and the words on the small tag attached to the stick pin are from Set 35, Christmas Handwritten Phrases...

A small cluster of roses sits on top of a couple Hug Snug bows and pieces of die cut leafy branches...

Patterned papers:  Lili of the Valley/Raspberry Road Designs Antebellum collection
Stamps:   Lili of the Valley Set 46, Background Bits/Notes;  Set 61, Quotables/Celebrate;   
Set 35, Christmas Handwritten Phrases
Flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Dies:   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves          Pearls:   Recollections         
Hug Snug seam binding          Maya Road stick pin (embellished)          Stickles/"Diamond"

Thanks so much for visiting today...have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

So Sweet of You...

Monday's card was pale and's card is anything but!

It's been a while since I've participated in the weekly challenge at The Shabby Tea Room, and it's high time I fixed that.  And this week's Mojo Monday sketch looked like a lot of fun, so why not combine them both? So that's just what I did...

The Shabby Tea Room's "Vegetable Garden" inspiration photo is a wonderful vintage image, and the challenge was to feature fruits or vegetables, along with text, on our project. Since oranges and pears went together with my sentiments better than veggies, I chose to use those in the digital collage. And as you can see, I did make a few "tweaks" to my final design from the Mojo Monday sketch for this week - the card changed to square, the single banner turned into two on each side, and I moved the floral cluster just a bit...


Here are a couple close-ups of the floral cluster...

And a detail shot of the pearl and crystal stick pin that holds the little sentiment tag...

Patterned papers:   My Minds Eye Miss Caroline/Dolled Up and Fiddlesticks collections;
Echo Park For the Record 2 Tailored collection (oranges)
Dies:   Cheery Lynn Designs Italian Flourish doily;   My Favorite Things Royal Leaves
Sentiment stamps:   Paper Sweeties "So Sweet of You," "You Make Me Smile," and "You Are Amazing" sets
Pearls:   Recollections          Flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Stamens:   ChocolateLetters on Etsy
Miscellaneous:   cheesecloth, handcrafted stick pin
Digital collage elements:   Fruits, vintage label, aqua background paper:
Brown background paper:

Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, August 12, 2013

You Make My World That Much Brighter...

Happy Monday!  I have a short and sweet post with a flowery friendship card to start the new week.

The pastel patterned papers get an extra added punch with the use of the dark purple cardstock mats and a few dark purple roses among the pale yellow and pink - the large purple rose is made using Spellbinders' Rose Creations dies...

I started embellishing a Maya Road heart stickpin, but once I finished, I decided I wanted a second pin to offset it, so I added another Maya Road pin, this time the one with three graduated pearls...

And a couple closeups of the small flower clusters surrounding the large rose...

Patterned papers:   My Minds Eye Miss Caroline/Dolled Up collection (stripe);  
Fiddlesticks collection (floral & yellow dot)
Dies:   Memory Box Elegant Scrollwork;   Spellbinders Rose Creations;   My Favorite Things Royal Leaves
Punch:   Martha Stewart Medium Branch          Small flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts
Pearls:   Recollections          Lace:   local craft store          Maya Road stick pins

Thanks for visiting today...I hope your week is starting with a smile!

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