Saturday, November 29, 2008

Santa's Helper / House Mouse

Over at the House Mouse & Friends Monday Challenge blog, there is a new challenge weekly. This week's is polka dots. Polka dots here, polka dots there, polka dots every where! The challenge is to make anything your heart desires, a card, an ATC or maybe a page layout but two things are a must. Whatever you create must have a House Mouse or friend image and polka dots. I immediately thought of my recent card candy that I made (see post below) and knew it would be perfect for the challenge. I then challenged myself further by digging through my Christmas scraps of paper looking for polka dots to use for my card.

The polka dot printed paper is by DCWV, cardstock is Bazzil and image is Santa's Helper from the House Mouse line by Stampabilities. I colored the image with Prismacolor colored pencils and used puff paint for the white dots around the scallop circle. Simple and quick easy card!

This is my first time to join in on the House Mouse challenge. I have enjoyed looking at the amazing talent every week . If you haven't visited and seen all the amazing creativity over there, please take a moment to check it out. Warning: it can be addictive getting into these little critters and the House Mouse Challenge Blog!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

No Red & Green Christmas Challenge

The challenge was to make a Christmas card with no red or green on the card. This card turned out to actually be a triple challenge for me. Challenge 1) I stamped the image on cardstock that is a color other than white or cream. Challenge 2) Colored the image with only one color using Prismacolor colored pencil in white and only coloring the snow. Challenge 3) Make the card using no red or green. I chose to go with a vintage photo look topped off with black photo corners. You might even say it is a bit retro. Simple card but I liked the end results. Image is by PSX.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Four Seasons

This is an older card I made but made within this past year. I am so often guilty of seeing rubber stamps I like in the store, buying them and then never using them. This set by Hero Arts from their Petite Prints called Four Seasons is a classic case of that! Joining some swaps that forced me to use some stamps I never used, I chose this set and finally put it to good use. The picture does not do justice to the colors I used. Each image is stamped with Colorbox Chalk Ink in a color that represents its season. The card base is a cream color. I used Clear Stamps Swirls to stamp the background using the same color chalk inks as used in the four season images. I wanted this card to be able to be mailed without additional postage so I chose to add no embellishments or bling. Sometimes it is a real challenge not to add embellishments such as ribbon, eyelets and brads. When you do though it cost more to mail your card. Here in the US we get charged for "lumps" & "bumps" that we call embellishing and bling!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My First Blog Award!

Recently I was awarded with my first blog award by a new friend. I have been having trouble with my computer and completely forgot to accept my award. I'm back in business though with my computer and just happened to remember that I needed to post my award given to me by my friend Rosette. I haven't known Rosette very long but we have become friends fast. She lives in Malta (Europe) and has an amazing talent that she uses to create the most beautiful cards. I hope you will take the time to check out her blog.

I'm pretty new to blogging but it appears I need to now present this award to 5 people. Since I am new to this, I would like to reserve the right to hold off on presenting this award for a few days. There are so many talented and creative people out there that I would love to present this award to but that's not my problem. My problem is I'm still learning how to do things and I want to make sure I am presenting this award properly. So bear with me.....I'll get this figured out soon! LOL!

Meanwhile please take the time to check out Rosette's blog. She has been a huge inspiration to me....more than she knows! Thanks Rosette!

Monday, November 24, 2008

House Mouse Easter Card

I recently Hosted a swap called "It's A House Mouse Occasion". Participants were to pick a holiday or special occasion/ event and create 5 cards to swap using a House Mouse image to represent their chosen occasion. I chose to do Easter. My son challenged me to not use the bright pastel colors that are so often used for Easter but instead to try more of a vintage look. Image is colored with Prismacolor colored pencils and gamsol. I used Tim Holtz's Distressed Ink.....Old Ranger to ink the edges of the image and green cardstock as well as the printed paper. Happy Easter sentiment is by Hampton Arts. Card base is a cream color but unfortunately the colors are not showing very well in the picture. I topped off the card with some ric rac and eyelets for embellishing. I'm glad I accepted my son's challenge because I like the touch of vintage for this card!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

House Mouse Birthday Card

Tomorrow, November 24th is my cousin's birthday. I chose to make her card using my favorite critters....House Mouse by Stampabilities. The card is a gate fold style, printed paper is by DCWV. Image is colored with Prismacolor colored pencils. I hope she likes her card and has a great birthday!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tips & Techniques of the Week! Sharpen Your Punches

I love to search the Internet for tips and techniques on how to do new and different things in the paper crafting world.There are so many talented and gifted people sharing their how to tips on the net that it is rare that you can't find an answer to how to do something or solve a problem. This past week I had trouble with a fairly new punch not punching a clean sharp edge. Wouldn't you know it....someone posted on two different sites that I belong to, this awesome video with a solution to my problem. Click HERE for a tip on how to sharpen your punches. I'm off to drink a can of soda! Hope everyone has a great week.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Card Candy, Blog Candy...I'll have a truffle please!

There has been lots of talk going on for the past year on all the paper crafting sites about "card candy". Card candy are hand made embellishments to be used on cards or scrapbooking layouts. They are very much like the Jolees embellies and stickers found in LSS and crafting stores. Until recently I had managed to avoid this newest craze. But alas, a friend hosted a swap for making card candy and I could no longer pass up the opportunity to try my hand at making these cute little embellies I see posted in the galleries on swap sites. For this particular swap we had to choose a theme and then make 10 packages of at least 4 pieces of card candy in each package. So I chose Christmas and off I went to make my card candy. I chose to use a couple of the House Mouse images as well as a candy cane image and sentiment. All images were colored with Prismacolor colored pencils. I am glad I took the challenge and tried something new but I don't think I will be making card candy again in the future. At least not 10 packages at a time. I found it to be very time consuming and tedious. I was not happy with the end result. I will say though, I received the swap back yesterday and the other participants did an awesome job making theirs. I don't think I am meant to make card candy.
On the lighter side.....I saw something on another blog about blog candy. Having just completed my card candy swap and knowing that card candy meant embellishments for cards.....I logically presumed that blog candy must be embellishments for my blog! Being new to blogging I was very excited about this "blog candy" and wanted to know how I could get some. I posted a message on one of the paper crafting boards I participate on asking the other members if they knew how I could get some blog candy. I was quickly set straight and informed what blog candy is. In the crafting world, blog candy is most often a free crafting item or embellies etc. that the blog owner is giving away for winning a challenge on their blog or for visiting their blog. I learned that day that not all things can be figured out logically. I also gave my friends a good laugh!
Maybe one day I will make some card candy to give away as blog candy. Meanwhile I think there is some candy in the candy dish with my name on it! A dark chocolate truffle to be exact. Now that's my kind of candy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Merry Go Round Swap

One of my favorite swaps to host and participant in is one called "Merry Go Round" Actually the Merry Go Round has become my favorite type of swap! How the swap works is all the participants choose a stamp they own that they would like to see what other people will do with the image. You could choose a stamp that you bought and just never used because you have not been able to decide how to use it or it could be a favorite image of yours but you have run out of ideas and would like some new ones. Either way, you stamp an image for each one of the players and mail it in to the host of the swap. The host then in return will send each participant one of every one's image for the exception of your own. Once you receive the images you then proceed to make a card using each image. Once done you mail your card creations to the host who then will send your original images back to you now made into cards by all the creative players in the swap. This is always the most challenging type of swap for me. Most often you will get images to work with that are not your style and taste or something you would never buy. So it becomes a real challenge designing a card with that image. There have been many times that I have worked on an image only to find that I liked it after I worked with it and wanted to go buy the stamp for myself. It is also fun to get back your original image and see how the other swap players interpreted your image and what they did with it. I am currently hosting a Merry Go Round swap on the CK site and there have been some fun and challenging images sent in. Below are some samples from some of the past Merry Go Round swaps I have been in. All but one are images that I would never thought to buy. I found a couple of them to be quite challenging....which is what makes this type of swap so fun!
I colored this image with Prismacolor colored pencils and added some lace and ribbon to add to the Victorian look of the image.
Also colored with Prismacolor colored pencils, I found this image to be fun to work with.

This image is a sunflower collage and I thought it would be fun to cut it into thirds, double mat it and add a plaid ribbon. Image is colored with Derwent Inktense Watercolor pencils.

I really struggled with this image and had a hard time deciding what to do with it. Image is colored with Prismacolor colored pencils and tripled matted on printed paper.
If you enjoy a challenge and the opportunity to work on images you don't should try a Merry Go Round Swap sometime. They can be a lot of fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Asian Theme Cards

I think I am finally getting the hang of this blogging thing! My original plans were to wait till after Christmas when I had more time to start blogging but....well...let's say I had a little encouragement from a new friend to go ahead and figure out what blogging is all about it. I have been active on a couple of paper crafting swap sites for the past 3 years. One of which just recently merged with another site causing all the sites participants to loose all the pictures we had uploaded to the gallery on the site. So I am going back and picking out some of my older creations to post first on my new blog.

One of my favorite styles and themes for cards is Asian.

The first picture is a collage style card I made using both Asian theme stamps and brass stencils from Dreamweaver. I have stamping, stenciling and both dry and heat embossing on this card.

The second card was made for a swap I hosted that required you to make an Asian theme card using only the colors red, black and gold. The cranes are stenciled in gold pigment ink by using a brass stencil by Dreamweaver and then heat embossed with gold embossing powder. I made the tassel from black embroidery thread.
The third card was made also for a swap I participated in. We were to stamp on printed paper. I happened to have a Chinese newspaper and thought it would be fun to use that to stamp an Asian theme on. It's a simple card but also one of my favorites. I must admit, I am having fun strolling down memory lane while posting some of my older creations and remembering some fun swaps I participated in.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Patchwork Christmas

Well I'm back for day two of learning how to set up my blog. I think I figured out how to load a picture. This is an oldie but favorite of mine. I was in a swap a couple of years ago that a friend of mine hosted that required us to use only scraps to make our card. We were allowed to cut into a new piece of cardstock for our card base though. I decided to use my Christmas paper scraps and use up some spools of thread by sewing on my cards. I call this "Patchwork Christmas". It has always been a favorite of mine. Hmmmm.....maybe I should make some more patchwork cards,
Welcome to my blog and a "lil bit of me"! I'm new at blogging and learning my way around so please have some patience as I learn how to do things. For now I'm excited that I can post and have music on my blog! Be sure to check back soon to see if I have learned how to post pictures of my creations.