Friday, April 30, 2010

starting the celebration early

Tomorrow is National Scrapbooking Day! This is a brand new thing for me. I'm not actually much of a scrapbooker, and I know there IS a World Card Making Day (first Saturday in October), but I still don't want to miss out on all the FUN happening tomorrow! In particular, the Studio Calico Design Team members have each issued a challenge. I'm starting off a day early with Davinie's challenge - which I'm most excited about because she was the only one to issue a CARD CHALLENGE! :) Yay!

Plus, her rules are really basic, which I love to see since I'm new to challenges and have to work with whatever I already have around. So here are the rules:
1. Create a card.
2. Use woodgrain.
3. Use the color blue.
4. Use a punch.

Super! Here we go!

I have NO IDEA where this card came from! It's completely unlike what I normally do! But I really think I like how it turned out. The idea just came to me today at work, so I sketched it out quickly while I was waiting for the pizza dough to finish mixing :) I knew right away I would use the Core'dinations woodgrain cardstock from SC's Joyland kit. It looks awesome in this photo, but while I was working with it I actually wished the two colors were higher contrast. Oh well. This is more authentic I guess. The other bits are just scraps from my "blue" file. The letters are from Basic Grey's new Basics Manila collection (you want to get this!). The card base is Stampin' Up's Ballet Blue - and I'm really proud of myself because I usually have trouble using color card bases - A weird hang-up of mine I guess!

Thanks for looking! I hope you like what I came up with for this challenge!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

breaking the rules

Today I made a card that is rather different from what I usually create. It's also the first card I've blogged that does NOT use a pre-coordinated line of materials ... See? I CAN do it! :) This is a card that's been in the works for a while now and there's a little bit of back story. So...

It all started with Kristina's Five Items from My Messy Desk challenge. I have an extremely messy desk. But I've been working on Mother's Day cards made with various collections of patterned papers, so I didn't think that would be fair. Plus, I've been meaning to clean my desk (which I did, and now it's a mess again!).  I have a box that sits next to my desk that has materials that I've purchased but haven't used yet. The rule is, I can't put any new item away in my materials storage until I've used at least part of it. So it goes into the box. The box has been rather neglected lately with more new stuff coming into the house (bad!), so I thought I'd found the perfect opportunity to dig into it! So I asked hubby to pick 5 items out of the box. (I asked him not to purposely pick out things that clashed.) BUT when I was ready to get to work, he was not in the mood to go through craft supplies, plus his aesthetic taste is terrible even on a good day! So I sat there looking at his pile for a while and then decided to pick my own items from the box! That's fair, right? :) Actually, the twill pleats and the brad were in his original picks.

Recently, Kimberly Crawford reviewed Pink Paislee's Queen Bee line on her blog. Check out the original post - her stuff is so lovely! She made the cutest flower out of the Ribbon Pleats (I LOVE them!) and I wanted to try that myself. Mine didn't come out nearly as clean as hers, but once I added the cork (just a piece of 12x12 cork from my LSS, even though I'd love to get my hands on some of PP's cork buttons!) it looked so much better.

The paper ended up getting glued on a little less than 1/16" off of square. To me it's glaringly obvious and totally driving me nuts! That's why I put the flower on the right and a little higher than I had originally envisioned. I hope it sort of camouflages it! I also considered putting a sentiment of some sort in charcoal ink at the top left, but I thought it might be too busy. What do you think...?

Anyway... Thanks for looking! I'd love to hear your comments/feedback!

Materials: Pink Paislee Queen Bee Ribbon Pleats, Sassafras Translate paper (I used their 6x6 Wee Bundle), October Afternoon Skyline Motor Inn and Vacationer Motel papers, Sassafras Cameo brads, Basic Grey Simon paper

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

with apologies to all you moms out there...

Mother's Day is just not inspiring me.

Even though it's still 18 days away, I'm actually running very late to get Mother's Day cards up on etsy! Plus, I agreed to make a card for a friend at work (who makes amazing jewelry that you can check out here) ... the only specs she gave me: bright colors. Gee thanks. :)

Actually, I have a really awesome idea, but I'm still waiting for my 2 Peas order to come with Hero Art's I Heart My Mom stamp - it's currently traveling randomly from state to state all over New England and taking way too long to get to me! And I have this horrible tendency to have an idea and get super fixated on it so that I can't accomplish anything else until I can see that one idea through. Take it from me: It's not fun.

So... Hopefully more to come soon! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A challanging challenge...

I'm going to try hard not to ramble here... I have a lot to say about this one little card but most of it I'm sure won't be interesting. Still - consider yourself warned ;)

Kristina Werner's blog is one of my favorites and with her latest video she issued a challenge: Make a one-layer card using only stamps. You can take a look at her card here. This is not normally something I would even attempt, but I figured it would be something fun to try for my new blog. Here's what I came up with:

Well... now that it's done, fun is not necessarily the word I would use... I've had Hero Art's What's Perking stamp set for a couple months now and I've never been able to figure out what to do with it. So for this challenge I was determined to use it. I was going to make a Mother's Day card using the teacup stamp, and it was going to say "Take time for you." But the "take time for" part of the stamp set is really small, and I don't have any large alphabet stamps that I could use for "you." So scratch that idea. I created a little scene that I liked with the coffee pot and mug, and then found another stamp set that had a sentiment that I liked. The circle border is from Sassafras.

This challenge was kind of embarrassingly hard for me. I rarely do this much stamping on one card, and it took me three tries to get it right! I'd get halfway through what was turning out to be a great card and the next stamp would be crooked or uneven and I'd have to start all over again! I vastly prefer stamping on individual elements so I don't end up ruining the entire card. And I made my card a little more like Kristina's than I would normally have liked. I really like how she layered the stamps, so I decided to try the same technique. I may try to make a stamps-only card again using a different format.

And in conclusion... I think I'm ok with paying extra postage and standing in line at the post office to have stamps hand-canceled. :) If I do want/need to make one-layer cards, I think I'll try it with patterned paper adhered straight to the card base and without large three-dimensional embellishments.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Studio Calico Sunday Sketch 4/18

I have only made one attempt at using a sketch thus far in my crafting career, and I can't say I loved how it turned out. :) There are some out there for card makers but most of the ones that cross my path are for 12x12 scrapbook pages so I don't usually bother thinking too much about them. But for some reason, this week's Studio Calico Sunday Sketch really spoke to me! You can view the original blog post here, and this is what the sketch looks like:
Now, like I said, I don't scrapbook on a regular basis - except for my page-per-month 6x6 album. So I decided I was going to use this sketch as a template for a couple cards. So I grabbed my Joyland kit (SC April 2010) and separated out the papers into oranges/reds and blues/greens and started punching away with my 1.5" circle punch. I used the Jenni Bowlin embellished butterfiles (I'm in LOVE with these - even though everyone is using them these days!) and My Mind's Eye Lush rhinestones from the kit, plus the bonus stamp and my fave Chestnut Roan Colorbox chalk ink. I also used my Martha Stewart butterfly punch. And I have to say I absolutely LOVE the results!


This card layout was also exciting for me to make because of something I've been struggling with a lot lately: negative space. This was a good exercise in accepting negative space because I didn't have to decide on my own if it looked good because the locations of the elements AND the negative space were dictated by the sketch. It's definitely helping me see when space does and does not need to be filled.

Thanks for looking! Happy Monday! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I have a blog...

OK, so I've had this blog set up for ages and it was originally going to be a platform to share things that I found and really loved... products, clothes, music, restaurants, you name it. I posted one J Crew shirt (still my fave!) and blogger flagged my blog - not sure why but I can kind of see how it might have looked suspicious. So now I am back. I am obsessed with several scrapbook/cardmaking blogs, so I thought I'd add my input to the community. Not that I have anything AT ALL to really contribute - DEFINITELY nothing new! But I figured why not! My plan, for now, is to show a sketch or link to a tutorial, and then show my take on the technique or whatever it may be. So welcome to you and I hope you enjoy! :)