Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Your Ship or Mine?

I'm so excited to be the sample card maker for OWH's Mid Week Throwdown this week! This week we are doing masculine cards and here is my favorite of the few I submitted as samples.

I actually made this a week or so ago, before my antiqued scroll adventure, which was inspired by the little scroll I made here for the sentiment. All I did was get the ends wet, roll around a paintbrush, and dry it with the heat embossing tool. I found the pirate font online - it was my first ever downloaded font... fun and easier to add to MS Word than I thought! The card front is inked with a cottonball with stamping ink on it. Here is a before and after pic of the paper...

And of course, a special shout out to the girls over at Scrap to Treasure. I don't have any masculine image stamps and when I asked for fishing and ship images, I lots of help. Thanks Linda, Cindy, Ann, and Misty!

Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

OWH Sketch #135

This morning's OWH sketch #135. I took liberties with the top layer's size...

I also picked up some 12x12" open stock paper that was on sale, which I rarely ever do. I prefer the stacks because I'm more trusting of myself to match up patterned paper if they come from the same stack, but I'm not finding any Autumn/harvest stacks in my LSSs so I went for the open stock papers. I'm glad I did. :)

Sketch #53
I also had a pre-stamped and colored Cornicopia but realized a bit too late that it didn't mesh with the orientation of the middle paper with the text on it. So I came up with this guy...

In the end, I made 4 of the vertical guys with the leaves, and two of the one above. This one has eyelets that are new to me. I recently scored a Cropodile in a swap on FB and I'm so excited to have another type of embellie to use with little to no cost. These eyelets were on clearance... I don't know why. The colors are perfect for the upcoming chilly weather! They're loss, my gain :D

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Shiver Me Timbers, It's an Antiqued Scroll!

I have another pretty cool ship card that I think counts as pizzazz, which is the focus of the blogskip that OWH is hosting this weekend. Really beginning to love tea staining...

"Why is the rum gone?"

I'm super excited about the way this set of four came out. Here's the rundown... The ship is from a freebie for the week in the Cricut Craft Room a few weeks ago (My World cart). For the "scroll" paper, I took the tea staining technique to the next level. I took a 4x5.25in piece of cream cardstock and crumpled it into the smallest ball I could. Then I opened it up and crumpled it again, making as making creases as possible. Then, while it was still in a ball, I dunked it in some steeped tea (cooled off, so as not to burn my fingers... which will happen in a lil bit) just to get it wet, not to soak it. I quickly learned that cardstock ain't so tough when it gets drenched! Squeezed most the water out, but left a bit so it could settle in some of the creases for some nice dark lines after it dried.

Next, I carefully opened up the ball and laid it flat on a washcloth. Then I took my Cricut cutting knife/scalpel and tugged/tore around the edges. Two opposite corners were cut off too. Then I curled an un-ripped corner around a paintbrush, nice and tight, and used my heat embossing tool to dry it and the majority of the paper around it. OUCH! Gotta be more careful about where to touch the paintbrush to keep the paper curled while it's drying! Once the scroll curl was nice and dry (it gets really stiff!), I did the opposite corner in the same way. While I was drying the paper, I wondered if I'd be able to edge the ragged edges with some stamping ink for an extra antiqued look... and then found that I was doing it without even realizing it! I was hovering over an edge a bit too close and too long and it started to burn, haha. So the scroll is now colored with both tea and a drying tool.

Next, the scroll got ATG'd to a piece 4x5.25in brown cardstock, and its edges were dunked, torn, curled, and dried the same way. I used the tea to get it wet, but only because it was sitting next to me. I didn't want any actual coloring to happen, and didn't get any because the paper was already dark.

The ship got a bit of the tea bag treatment on its sails, then dried, and then was finally adhered to the scroll with ATG and Modge Mod Podge. I thought for a second about sticking on a sentiment but I didn't want to push my luck and really didn't want to cover up the scroll any more than it already was. The final product is very stiff from all the drying, but it's no thicker than what dimensional foam and brads would do and is definitely safe to press down on, since it already looks is roughed up.

What other themes could this scroll be used in? Maybe some Steampuck stuff? I known nothing about that stuff... yet. ;)

Thanks for visiting (again) and I hope you have a great day!

Diecuts and Patterned Paper

I know I'm a bit late for Wednesday's MWT, being that it's Saturday already, but I've been working at a new job. At A.C. Moore! It's pretty cool, I get to be around all sorts of yummy crafty items while I bide my time for a teaching position. (I'm also going to be a per diem sub in a local district. So psyched about that!)

This week's challenge was to focus on DP and/or? diecuts. Here are a few of my latest cards that fit the bill...

Love these ladybugs!
Men need love too, right?

My next blog post jazzes up some cream cardstock for a worn out treasure map look. Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great day!

Monday, August 20, 2012

'Tis the Season

Yesterday was sketch day over at OWH :). Here's my contribution:

OWH #134

It's pretty busy, I know, but I couldn't help myself to a little craziness. I hand cut the red and green layers under the sentiment and added dimensional tape. Santa is colored with colored pencils, but not magically. The image is on the smaller side - I'm afraid of the colors bleeding.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Boo! Cricut Craft Room sentiments

I wanted to share a few of the cards I made with goodies from a recent Autumn themed swap on FB's Scrap to Treasure group. What fun! Special shout outs to Karen, Cindy, Ann, and Sandi.

I made the "Boo!" in the Cricut Craft Room but wasn't able to make a good shadow for it. I found a tutorial on YT telling me to not use the text box, but to use individual letters and drag them till they touch (weld). That way, I can use the shadow feature and size the shadows right under the main layer.... if that makes sense. I'll try it the next time I'm in need of a sentiment I don't have and post the results.

This is Sketch #63 and I'm beginning to have a problem. Aside from ~20 bonus sketches, I only have about 15 sketches left in the unofficial OWH year long sketch challenge. But I find myself saying, "Eh, I like this other sketch better, even though I've used it already." There's nothing in particular about these rejected sketches, although some do have inchies, and layering inchies has been known to cause some frustration. The problem is that I cut the DP to one inch, and after layering, they're not inchies anymore, and they won't fit on the card front! Now I sound like a crybaby, I know, haha. I guess that's my next challenge - to get over it and just measure right the first time! Ah me.

Thanks again for the group swap ladies, I have a feeling I'm going to have plenty left over for next year's Halloween cards. I like leftovers - it's like getting the stuff all over again when the box gets pulled back out ;) I'm going to line, stamp, and tuck my recent handful of cards and get them in the mail today. I feel an urgency to get these to my shipper since August is winding down and there are summer and Halloween deadlines.

Side Note: I got a job! Two actually :D. I'll be working part-time at A.C. Moore (look out discount, here I come) and substituting as needed at a local school district. I cannot tell you the bawling the kids witnessed when I got the letter from the school - such an overwhelming relief to know that I'll be in a school this coming year. Through my tears, I actually quoted Peter Gabriel's "Big Time," one of my anthems while I was in college. I'm such a dork but I love it.

Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Love is Natural

This week's MWT at OWH wants us to use Kraft paper. Whenever I see what websites and bloggers refer as "kraft," I think, "Wait... that's khaki....?" But I guess now it's time to get rid of that idea, and just go with the flow, haha. So here's my krafty card... not my khaki card :).

I used the wood grain folder because I thought it accented the sentiment nicely. And I used the Cricut Craft Room for the (scalloped) circles, since I don't have one on a cartridge or a plate for the Cuttlebug. This is Sketch #106 over at the OWH Stars and Stamps blog.

As always, I love to see comments and suggestions. I'll admit myself this one is pretty simple. Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Here's Comes Santa!

Aww, what a neat tutorial this week over at OWH! It's a close up of Santa's big belly! Since I'm low on anything that could pass for black buttons, I decided that Mrs. Santa is dressing him really really well this year, and gave him diamond buttons ;)

The bottoms button has a glare - it's the same jewel dot as the others. I also realized I don't have any black ribbon... let alone the great satiny kind :(. On the list it goes! ALSO, I had to create my own belt buckle (they spent all their money on those diamond buttons). I used a strip of sparkly (sealed!) silver from a sheet from DCWV Stripes, Plaids, and Dots stack, curved the corners freehand, and punched the holes with a Fishers rectangle punch. Now I'm having second thoughts about pairing up those buttons and that buckle... Hmmm. Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Sketch!

There's a great sketch today at OWH, #133. Here's what I came up with:

The sentiment is from a great set of birthday-related quotes from Fiskars. Now I'm revved up and going to try to finish a box today to relieve some of the pressure my shippers feeling. Gotta keep these babies coming!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Smilin' Gingerbread

I prepped some gingerbread men with the Cricut a few weeks back and promtly forgot about them. I was happy to find them again when I dug into my element stash for this week's MWT. Here you go!

The papers and ribbon are from a group swap on an FB group; so fun! I used Sketch #12 and made the sentiment a rectangle instead of a square.

This week the Cricut craft room is making the My World cart a digital freebie so now I'm off to make a slew of cuts... you can't beat free! :)

Side Note: I didn't get the job from the interview I had the other day. It was at a Christian school and they incorporate religious education into all their courses. I'm a very spiritual person and love God, but I do not have the Christian background that's necessary to be a good fit for this position. But I did have a great experience interviewing and think of this as a positive stop on my journey toward employment. :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Poor Man's Distressing

Last week the ladies over at OWH asked for suggestions for upcoming tutorials, so I offered one on tea bag stained paper. How exciting that Nancy offered it up on the blog! Of course, I couldn't just make wishy washy paper and not have a card sample to back it up, so here you go:

I couldn't stop myself with the layering, haha! I really like how it turned out and if you try this, please please please leave a comment so I can check it out and get more ideas. I'm really curious about Nancy's idea about using different colors of herbal tea. Wait - we could even use more than one color at a time! Holy crow, the possibilities are endless! :D

Thanks for visiting and have a great day!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Homemade Patterned Paper

With all the masking I've seen and some inspiration to try something new, I decided to try my hand at a handcrafted card front. I'll start by showing the finished product, then showing you the process.

I started with a leaf stamp on a piece of scrap paper, cutting it along the outline. I have to say, it was much more pleasant than fussy cutting with empty space about the image. I get very frustrated when I cut along - not on - a printed/stamped line. There was a bit of anxiety, however, where the stem meets the leaf. Whoa, Nelly, that was a close one! Here are close-ups of the stamps...

Once I stamped the whole card front, I worked on coloring in the background...
See that smudge toward the center? Gone!
The dreaded colored pencil glare! Noooo!

I began to run out of choices for leaf colors and didn't want two of the same color of leaf to touch each other, so I tried a gold one... didn't like it at all!

Solution? Sentiment! I love card-making, lol. You can't fix your flubs in other things the way you can with crafts ;). I used black to give definition to the veins of all the leaves and opted not to dab with baby oil for this one. I did a test and the colors blended too much with each other. I'm going to use this for an Any Hero card when the weather gets chillier. I know, it's selfish, but I kinda want to be the one who gets to use it since it's a first try and turned out pretty good. I can see myself doing this again in the future, but only with super inspiring stamps or design ideas. It took me a few hours to do this and spending that much time on cards usually renders me at least 6 or 7 of them. Ok, on to recent challenges!

 The ODBD challenge for August calls for masculine cards. Whoo-hoo! I'd totally forgotten about my goal to keep my boxes half-n-half feminine and masculine. Probably because of last month's challenge (half summer, half winter). So this is good because I needed the reminder. Here's my contribution:

I have to give a special shout out to my kiddies - they think my Cuttlebug is one of the coolest tools I have, so when they ask if they can play with my stuff, I get them to pre-emboss for me. DD did these for me  - notice how level they are? Awesome!

And finally today's sketch challenge, #132, is another simple design with a lot of versatility. I love the samples they offered! Here's mine:
Sturdy felt stockings

So now that I finally have this post done (I started it two days ago), I must get back to preparing for an upcoming interview. This is my first teaching interview and I'm ridiculously excited! But, of course, I have to prep. I need to print multiples of my mini-portfolio (choosing the perfect balance of lesson plans and student work is no easy task), watch another documentary on education in America (loved this one), and do more research on flipped classrooms and the M.A. for Literacy and Cognition (my own educational goal).

Have a great day and thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

AnyHero MidWeek Throwdown

Today's MWT asks for Any Hero cards, and since I'm assuming the challenge is also to write a note to a hero, Ill do that too.

Thanks for Everything

This is Ciara, OWH's mascot. I don't have the stamp, but actually got it in a swap from Sandi, a gal on a swap board on FB. I'm not too keen on my colored penciling still, but I think it's good enough to pass. The sentiment is heat embossed and the plaid paper is from DCWV's Stripes, Dots, and Plaids stack.

I also made some Halloween cards for my next box (without the morbidity, of course) with a small Martha Stewart pack I got on clearance after last's year's Halloween. This was pretty fun. I didn't do Halloween cards last year because I didn't have any 'ween themed paper, but I guess it just goes to show you, if you've got the paper, you can do anything, haha.

New to me mini stack from last year's clearance :)
I also did a few more of this last Sunday's Sketch #131 and tacked on some sentiments from a RAK on the swap board. Thanks again, Cindy!

These are the last few pages of my DCWV Latte Stack. Something about these, looking at the photo, looked cock-eyed, but I can't put my finger on it. Is it the placement of the cards on the table, or the elements themselves? That top polka dot rectangle is off from the one below it. Darn, gonna have to fix that. This happens a lot: I find faults (no matter how small) in the photos, but can't see them when I hold the card in my hand and look at it in real life. Does this happen to anyone else?

Here's a final card for this last week's bunch...

There's a few things I really like about this guy. First, the flowers come from a swap :). Second, I didn't curl the petals like I usually do and I think it looks just as cool. Even a bit CAS-er actually. Third, the DP is from a 12x12 $1 pack I got a long time ago and never broke into. I was actually considering using it for bases for scrappy backgrounds, but maybe there is some life in it yet. And lastly, I stamped onto the card front itself. I don't do this often because I get nervous I'll screw it up and end up stamping - and then screwing up - the whole card front. I had success on the first try though, which makes me happy. The card front is a tiny bit textured, DCWV-style. As a side note, this is Sketch #78. Oh boy, there's ATG tape in the bottom left corner. Growl!!

Now I'm going to humbly shamelessly plug OWH. If I have any readers who are not associated with Operation Write Home, here's the scoop: Volunteer card makers all over the country (including you, if we're lucky!) Send blank homemade cards to OWH, which in turn, sends them overseas to our military servicemen and women so they have something beautiful to write home to their families and friends on. Considering how many of our heroes are deployed at any time, and in however many locations all over the world, this is no easy task. Right now, card submissions are dipping and requests from units are up - not a good combination! So if you're hearing about OWH for the first time, or know about us but haven't yet joined us, please consider sending in cards. There is a preferred size, but other sizes are greatly appreciated too if you want to unload some of your stash :). Find out all the details on their website here and like love them on FB here.

As always, thanks for visiting and I hope you have a great day!