Monday, January 28, 2008

Masculine Card??

What really constitutes a masculine card? This is an interesting question. Is it all about the color? Is it about the images you use? Is it about the types of embelishments or techniques you use? Each person may have their own answer to these questions. My opinion is that each of these things has their importance. My DH is nice enough to look at my cards when I am done making them. He will comment if he likes it. That does not mean however that I think he would like to receive the card. I am also not talking about a boys card, but those we give to our older members of the male race.
I don't think he would like to receive a pink card unless it was to congratulate him on a new baby girl. I don't think he would like to receive a card with lots of frilly flowers on it. Flowers maybe if they were used in a subtle way, perhaps for a sympathy card. Same goes for embelishments. Ribbon is fine if it doesn't have lots of ruffles or bows.
So what would be good choices? Hardware is always good. It can surround a sentiment or just brads to embelish a corner. As for colors, darker shades are my choice. It doesn't mean I don't use red or yellow, but not the bright tones. Rich Regals or many of the Earth Elements are top on my list when choosing for a masculine card. I personally like green for masculine cards. Even Certainly Celery from the Soft Subtle family can be nice if used properly. Dark outline layers/mats can give a darker sence to a card also. Selection of paper can also come into account. Textured paper would be good as opposed to just flat cardstock.
As for image I go one of two ways. There are the typical images like vehicles. I like to go also go for the items that are of significance to the person. My dad for instance has a number of apple and cherry trees that he likes to pick fruits from. I like to use images of piles of these fruits on cards for him.
With Valentine's Day soon approaching I wanted to have something to select from for my DH, dad and maybe brother. I made this card the other night. I think it has a nice balance of male colors, images, and embelishments. It could go to anyone as it doesn't lean too heavily to one side, but I would like to think one of the men in my life would like to receive this card.
The image was colored with my Stampin' Up! Certainly Celery Marker. To get the shaded effect I carefully colored the image with the marker so I didn't overlap any of the strokes. Then I went back and colored again the areas I wanted a little darker. Here is a great tutorial for how to this further. The hardware piece around the sentiment is Hodgepodge Hardware Pewter. The Regal colors of the Real Red and So Saffron are not that bright even though red and yellow would normally be considered a girly color. The black mats also help to give some depth, definition and darken the card. The only part I may consider changing is the ribbon. I think it either needs to be shorter on the tails or maybe a different color. I might try a black one there before sending the card.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Inspiration file

Whenever I come across something that strikes me I either save the project to my computer or write it on my list of ideas/tips. Then there are the ones that strike me so hard I just remember them. I have had this tip in the back of my mind for sometime now. When I saw it I immediately put the item I needed on my next order. I have tried before to use it, but the timing wasn't right. It just sat there in the back of my mind everytime I came across the item that I ordered. Well, I finally got around to using it.
What was the item?
It was the "My ABC's" Stampin' Around Wheel. The one that looks like the old grade school paper you used when you learned how to write. Someone had used it to make a their own plaid style background paper. I had out my In Color stamp pads from some previous projects. I started with the Wild Wasabi and Blue Bayou. I rolled each one alternating colors in both directions on the card stock. Then I went in between each pass(actually overlapping) with my Purely Pomegranate ink in both directions.
I loved the way the paper looked. I still wasn't sure how to use it the best still. I looked through all my stamp sets and pulled out the ones new to my collection in the last month or so. I looked at them all and nothing still came to mind. I looked on my bullitan board. I have all the old sketch challenges hanging up their. One stood out to me. I looked again through my stamp sets and found "Unfrogettable" I havn't used it in awhile. The paper looked like it was perfect for a masculine card. The frog would be perfect for a Valentine. A few stamps, some aqua painter watercoloring, and a quick embelishment later and you have my take on a Masculine Valentine card using sketch SC155 and my very own designed background paper. I had actually intended for more of my wonderful paper to show in the background when I got the vision, but the tag needed something else, so it got a strip of Purely Pomegranate underneath the ribbon.
Stamps: Unfrogettable, ABC's Wheel
Paper: Whisper White, Soft Sky Textured, Wild Wasabi, Blue Bayou, Purely Pomegranate
Ink: Basic Black, Wild Wasabi, River Rock, Blue Bayou, Purely Pomegranate, Soft Sky
Accessories: Aqua Painter, Wild Wasabi DS Ribbon, Slot Punch, 1-3/8" & 1-1/4" circle punches, dimensionals
Don't forget to check your inspiration file for some ideas you might have forgotten or start one of your own today.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I havn't done anything with this technique in some time. Bleach can be used a couple of ways when paper crafting. You can use it to actually stamp with just like ink. (I will admit to not always getting the best results with this) OR you can use an aqua painter with bleach to discolor the paper after you have stamped on it.
The second would be the technique I used for this card using the SC152 sketch challenge. I first stamped the large flower from "Time Well Spent" onto the Groovy Guava card stock with Versamark ink. I then embossed it with Black EP. I wanted to add a few leaves to my card, so I masked off the flower and stamped/embossed the leaves.
Using my aqua painter I dipped the end in a small container of fresh bleach. Using frech bleach is important. Bleach goes bad over time and will not work as well. It is also not advisable to leave the bleach in your aqua painter. It can ruin the brush tip. Some have had different experiences with this, so it may also have to do with the weather in your area. I then colored with the bleach wherever I no longer wanted it to be Guava. I did this on most of the outline type areas and the leaves.
Each color of cardstock will react differently. Some will change color others with turn a white/gray shade. The Guava turns white. I wanted the leaves to be Wild Wassabi. I let the bleach areas fully dry and cleaned my aqua painter. I went back with my aqua painter dipped in water and colored the leaves with ink from my Wild Wassabi ink pad. To finish off the card I colored the little flowers on the sentiment Groovy Guava. The ribbon is the new stripped grosgrain ribbon. This one is Wild Wassabi.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sketch Challenges

I am working on some projects for my club next weekend and a Cricut swarm I am going to. I don't want to show those projects just yet. In the mean time here are a couple of cards I made while trying to also catch up on some SCS sketch challenges.
I worked on SC147 first. I don't use the "Define Your Life" stamp set near as much as I would like to. I fit wonderfully for this challenge. I wanted to pull the main image into the rest of the card a little more, so I stamped the "Ll" a few times in the background. For an added embelishment the double stiched ribbon and a pretties flower were a simple choice. I used a little crystal effects to put the half pearl in the middle of the flower.

For SC149 the only thing I knew was that I wanted an image too big for the diamonds. The "Time Well Spent" had a few choices. My DD loves the butterfly. I stamped it out onto some Whisper White card stock. I started to color it in with various In Colors and my aqua painter. I originally thought I would color the main part of the wings, but I didn't want to have all that white area around the butterfly. I had already used the Soft Sky for the wing edges. Groovy Guava was the next lightest In Color I had. I decided to color around the butterfly with that and then decide what color to do the butterfly itself. I really liked the white wings after coloring around it.

The main panel has Soft Sky flowers stamped all around the saying, but it doesn't show on the picture. It looks really nice IRL and help to tone down the large blank area. I played for a while with the mat and ribbon colors. I debated using Purely Pomegranate, but settled on the Soft Sky mats and River Rock DS Ribbon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

USA Eagle

This is the other stamp from "The Free & the Brave" stamp set. This eagle could also be used for Boy Scouts or 4th of July items.
I colored the stamp with Not Quite Navy and Chocolate Chip markers. Stamped it on Whisper White card stock and then colored in the beak with 3 shades of orange and the body feathers with Creamy Caramel. The alphabet is actually "Define Your Life". I colored the uppercase only from each stamp with Not Quite Navy. The ribbon strip underneith is chocolate taffata.

Ahhhhh! NOOOO!!

I love my son. He loves my embossing powders. I do not love him playing with my embossing powders as this is what happens.
The camera was right there so I took a picture of this tragedy. He spilled it all over the new fabric chair someone just gave me to put in my stamp area.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Target $1 Spot

Like many others I have also found these great mailboxes at Target. I made this one for an army wife who led our FRG for the last two years. They are getting ready to leave for a new assignment. It was a great chance to use the new Berry Bliss Designer Paper. The chocolate and pink work wonderfully together. I also finally got the "Boatloads of Love" stamp set to do my Valentine's with. The front is stamped on Glossy White card stock. I used sticky strip to hold the paper to the mailbox and mini glue dots for the flag pieces. "friend-ship" is embossed in white EP.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A couple of thanks

I have two simple thank you cards for you to see today.
The first I made for my customers. I wanted to slip a little thanks and reminder of our next club meeting into their bags. The card is 3x3 and uses the new felt flowers. The picture doesn't do it justice. The new felt flowers are too cute. I know it said 130 pieces in the catalog, but I was still surprised when I open the little tin. There was a nice stuffed bag inside. The colors are fabulous. I wasn't sure at first how I would like the pumpkin, but it is a lovely color. I used the Rose Red ones for the cards. The larger flower layer is the 5 petal flower punch. I tipped the edges in my ink pad. I also used the punch to make some leaves to put behind the flower. I put a rhinstone brad in the center. A little strip of designer prints paper and some ribbon. DONE!! Quick card. I stamped the swirl after I made the bottom part. Next time I would stamp it first so it is tucked under a little more.
The second card is for a special friend. She came over and watched my kids while my DH took me to the hospitol for an IV and some meds. She is a blessing. I wouldn't have made it through the night without her. The sentiment is from "All Holidays". The butterfly is from "Priceless". I did use my cuttlebug on the background. I got the layout for this card from Jan Tink. I saw her card on her blog a month or so ago. Mine is a little simpler, but I really like the postcard look to the main image area.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Pull-tops tins

Here is another tutorial I promissed. We made these tins at the open house I had a couple of weeks ago. We also made candy bar wrappers, but those are fairly self explanatory (just wrap cardstock around them and decorate).
*Materials Needed:
*Tin with Pull-top tab--anything that has a lip on the bottom, not a beveled edge will work. Most Del Monte cans have a pull-tap and a lip to the can.
*Something to fill the tin with
*Crystal Effects
*Cardstock or papers to cover the tin with
*Sticky Strip

1.) Cut off the bottom of the can with a safe edge can opener. You want to be able to replace the bottom of the can. Wash out the can of any food and dry thouroughly.
2.) Fill the can with your special treat. Glue the bottom back on using crystal effects. Just a little bit in the rim of the can will do. Wipe off any excess with a tissue.
3.) Sit that aside to dry for a few minutes. Make any extra tags or such to decorate your can.
4.) Measure the can height. Mesure in between the lips of the can. Cut your cardstock to fit around the tin. For mine the cardstock is cut 1-13/16" x 7-3/4". I also cut a pattern paper piece 1" x 7-3/4".
5.) Place sticky strip at the end of each strip of cardstock you plane to wrap around the can.
6.) Wrap the can with the paper. Very carefully pull off the red protective strip and adhear the paper to the can.
7.) Decorate the can as you wish.
8.) Give the tin away and watch as your friends wonder how you got the candy in there.
These are perfect party favors or gifts for a class. I buy the cans in bulk at Sam's Club and then empty the contents into a tupperware style container.
You can do the same thing with just about any size can. If there is no pull tab, they simply cut open the can to get out the surprise. Candles fit nicely into larger cans. Pack with a little tissue and you have a special unique gift.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Free & the Brave

Page 33. That is the first thing I say when I hand the new catalog to someone. Everyone in my stamping club is also an Army Wife, so this stamp set was a big hit with them. My DH looks at the new catalogs and normally just rolls his eyes when I get excited about something. He saw "The Free & the Brave" stamp set and asked when I could order it.
I started with the saying stamp first. I wanted to highlight the main words of the phrase. I also wanted a good 'ol Red, White & Blue card. I had seen several cards where the focal image was surrounded by a dry embossed shape. I tried it using some chipboard I had, but just couldn't get it to work just yet. I need a larger stylus. I did like the idea of a scallop panel to set off the phrase. I used a piece of chipboard and traced it onto the cardstock. I had to add a scallop to make it wider to fit. I simply stopped before the end and moved the piece over one loop to make it bigger. I cut the scallop out with my sissors.
The stars at the bottom are heat embossed with silver EP. I would like to have all the words embossed also, but don't have the patience to do that in three colors and make it all line up perfectly. I used my markers to color the stamp in the three colors, huffed and stamped on Whisper White cardstock.

I then sat down to color my soldier image. I pulled out my stampin' pastels and my blender pen. For the flag I used Brilliant Blue and Rose Red. There are only 11 stripes on the flag and the lower left hand side is a little tough to determine where the stripes are. I decided that the flag was curled up there and the stripes were going more up instead of across. Choosing colors for the soldier was a little more difficult. The new uniform colors are not really found in SU! pastels. I first used Black and colored in his goggles and end of his riffle. With some Mellow Moss I randomly colored in his uniform leaving many blanks. I used grey to fill in the gaps. For his face I used Apricot Appeal with some Caramel and grey to dirty up his face. Since the flag was to be tattered a little I lightly went over the stars and stripes with some grey to take the brightness off. For the large area left behind the image I used my finger and rubbed in some Creamy Caramel chalk.
The main card base in Creamy Caramel, stamper with the background "Sanded" in Basic Brown. The Mellow Moss panel is stamped in Mellow Moss with the word "Liberty" from the saying stamp in the set. The stars are also from the stamp set. I stamped them in versamark to give them some texture and then punched them out with my small star punch. It fits perfectly.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Long time no post

It feels good to be back to blogging. The Christmas break was just what our family needed. Time away from Oklahoma. Time together. Time..... How precious it is. Just as DH was going back to work and I was ready to start on some of those tutorials I promissed, BAM!! I got very sick. If you have had any part of that bug going around you know what I mean. Ruthless little bugger. Hits you like a ton of bricks. I landed in the hospitol after my first full day with it. When you can't even keep down water for more than 15 minutes you need help. A few drugs and some IV's later and I was feeling better. Then DH got hit with it, BAM!! Luckily the kids didn't have near anything what we had. They basically slept for 3 days and were good to go.
So a week more has passed since break, I got some new toys and I have been stamping all day. So lets get to it. This tutorial is for my Aunt. She asked weeks ago how to make some of the boxes pictured in the catalog. Many of you have probably already done these before, but it never hurts to review.
It is called a 2,4,6,8 box and is similar to the box pictured on page 17. The one in the catalog is scored to have the front wider than the side. I am guessing they turned the paper horizontal and scored at 2,5,7,10. With a bottom score of 1.75.
Materials: 8.5"x11" sheet of cardstock, sissors, sticky strip, paper trimmer with scoring blade -black blade (optional--additional materials or stamps to decorate box)
Step 1: Turn the paper vertical in your paper trimmer. With the scoring blade -black blade- score the paper at 2", 4", 6", & 8".
Step 2: Turn the paper horizontal. Score the cardstock at 1.75". This will form the bottom. I like to score mine at 1/4" less than the smallest side width.
I have drawn over all the score lines so you can see them easier.
Step 3: Cut from the bottom edge to the bottom score line on each vertical score line. Also cut the small piece of cardstock at the bottom corner. I like to trim a little from the edge of each bottom flap so the box will close nicely and not show the bottom cardstock over the edges.
(OPTIONAL) If you wish to stamp directly on the box, now is the time to do that.
Step 4: Attach sticky strip as shown in the picture.
Step 5: Determine how tall you want the box and either cut or tear the top edge.
Step 6: Fold on all score lines. Peel the side red tape and close box. Peel the bottom pieces and close box.
Step 6: Finish box as desired with ribbon, tags, etc. Fill and give away.
These are perfect for party favors or little trinkets for a special friend.