Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Cards and Tags: Live, Laugh, Love

It's Memorial weekend and I love this tribute poem by Louise N. Parter that's framed on a plaque at the Theatre Royal in London:

Actors, musicians, writers and workers for the stage who have given their lives for their country. Honour to the immortal dead, that great … company of shining souls who gave their youth that the world might grow old in peace. Their name liveth forever more. These nobly played their parts, these heard the call for God and King and home. They gave their all.
Since ye who pass in quest of happy hours
Behold the price at which those hours were bought,
Strew here the fragrance of memorial flowers,
The silent tribute of a grateful thought.

The line hits me the most profoundly is the one that says, "That great company of shining souls who gave their youth that the world might grow old in peace."  I'm deeply grateful for those who've sacrificed and who continue to sacrifice so that we can indeed grow old in peace.

One way to show gratitude for those who've given so much is to try and live each day to its fullest.  With that in mind, I made this card with the statement "Live, Laugh, Love."

For this card, I used two dies: the fabulous "Ribbon Banner" die (a Simon Says Stamp exclusive) and a Tim Holtz ticket die.  I stamped out the shapes with paper from Prima.

I used a scallop circle punch from Stampin' Up! and punched out the circular tokens on a piece of patterned paper by Echo Park.  I also inked around all the edges with Tim Holtz distress inks: Walnut Stain, Black Soot, Picked Raspberries and Peacock Feathers.

The "Live, Laugh, Love" sentiment is a stamp from TPC Studio.

I also stamped half a crown on two of the tickets (crown stamp by Heidi Swapp) and cut numbers out of a piece of patterned paper from My Mind's Eye for the 24 and the 7.  I added buttons to the top, which I glued some paper circles onto.  I used circle punches from Stampin' Up! and ek Success to get the sizes I needed.  I added some bows made from embroidery floss.  I attached it all to background paper from Pink Paislee and finished it off with a piece of vintage lace at the bottom.

Life's certainly not easy, and I don't know that it's possible to laugh every second, but we can always love and live the very best we can.  This Memorial weekend especially, I'm thankful to have that opportunity.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Other Creations: Sunshine Girl

I have to say that I am absolutely in LOVE with this "Sunshine Girl" stamp that I discovered from Paperbag Studios.  I don't even remember how I stumbled onto this site, but it was a pretty dang good stumble. 

Here's a piece of wall art I made using the aforementioned Sunshine Girl stamp and this fabulous "impossible" sentiment stamp from Tim Holtz (Stampers Anonymous).  Can we ever get enough Tim Holtz?  I think not.

To make this creation, I stamped the girl image onto a piece of patterned paper (Close to My Heart) using black ink (Ranger Jet Black Archival ink).  I stamped the image again on a Post-it note, cut around it and put it on top of the other stamped image.  Now that my stamped girl was safely covered, I sprayed color mist inks all around her (Heidi Swapp and Dylusions brands).

After that dried and I unmasked the image, I colored her face in with markers (Spectrum Noir) and used pink chalk on her cheeks.  I also colored her headband in with some watercolor pencils (Faber-Castell).

Next I stamped the Tim Holtz sentiment onto some My Mind's Eye paper (again with the Ranger Jet Black Archival ink), cut it out, glued some lace behind it, then adhered the whole thing onto background paper from My Mind's Eye and Prima.  I finished it off by adding some butterflies using Martha Stewart butterfly punches. 

This was a fun project and just the little boost I needed as I recovered from an unfortunate injury.  I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that it involved a frozen popsicle and my lips and was very reminiscent of that scene from "The Christmas Story" involving a tongue and a frozen pole.  Who knew these things could really happen?  Totally not as funny in real life.

Craft on, friends!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Other Creations: A Loving Home Collage

One of my favorite blogs to frequent is the Simon Says Stamp & Show blog.  Every week, there's a theme-based challenge and then some Mega (with a capital M) talented designers show how they interpreted the theme.  And if that isn't enough inspiration for you, there are a ton of entries you can check out left by super crafty people all over the world to show how they've answered the call of the challenge.  Needless to say, it is good stuff!

This week's challenge was, "A Little Paper."  The goal was to use 6" x 6" paper or cut down bigger paper to make something amazing in miniature.  I loved the challenge, so here's the collage I made for it:

To create this project, I made a collage from fabric scraps, then I stamped a house image on top of it.  I used the "Elegant House" stamp from B Line Designs and jet black Ranger archival ink.

I attached my house collage to some gorgeous paper from Prima's "Lyric" Collection.  I used a piece of 12" x 12" paper titled "Prelude," but I only cut out one tiny panel of it and used that to frame my collage house.

Lastly, I cut out a "Love" sentiment from another piece of paper from this Prima collection titled, "Recital."

I adore 12" x 12" paper and I'm always looking at its patterns and panels and thinking of how I can cut it up into smaller components for cards, tags, mini books, etc.  What a fun challenge from the Simon Stamp & Show blog that reminds us that one 12" x 12" sheet can keep on givin' for a multitude of mini projects!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Cards and Tags: May 15th SOUS Card Sketch

Well, it's time for another fabulous card sketch from Stuck On U Sketches.   I was not only inspired by Leah's sketch, but I was also ecstatic to play with the new "Find Your Wings and Fly" collection from My Mind's Eye. There's an "Up and Away" set and a "Sky's the Limit" set and they are both dreamy!  As always, I get giddy with the latest and greatest from MME.

Without further ado, here's the card I created:

I based my card off this sketch of Leah's, only I flipped it vertically:

All the paper for this card came from My Mind's Eye (as mentioned), except for the text background paper for the stamp, which is from Graphic 45.  The stamp of the guy with the crown is one that I bought from a seller on Ebay a few years ago and he's no longer a registered seller (bummer).  I also used Tim Holtz distress ink.

Everything else came from MME, including the sticker sentiment. 

Thanks again to Leah and the other talented ladies at SOUS.  Being on their Design Team has been a completely and utterly positive experience!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tutorials: Washi Spools

I love to incorporate sewing notions into my projects and I'm especially keen on vintage wooden spools.  As I was experimenting with them the other day, I decided to wrap them in Washi tape for a different look.  I loved the results!  Check them out:

The great thing about this project is that it's super easy and takes about two seconds to do.  And if you don't have vintage wooden spools, not to worry!  You can also buy craft spools and ink them around the edges to make them appear more weathered.

To do this yourself, you only need three ingredients: Washi, a spool and ink.  In my mind, there is no greater ink than Tim Holtz's Distress ink (Walnut Stain color).  I use it constantly! 

Simply find a Washi that is the same width as your spool (or cut the tape down to size), then wrap a strip of Washi around it, then ink the edges!  Done!

For the spools pictured, the floral/butterfly/bird tapes are all Recollections brand.  The typewriter tape is from Prima and the diagonal stripe is from My Mind's Eye.

After the spools are covered, you can still wrap a little bit of thread or yarn on top of the Washi for even more dimension.  Also, depending on how sticky your Washi is, you may have to add a bit of adhesive to the ends of the tape to ensure it stays stuck for the long haul.

 Thanks for stopping by and have fun Washi-ing (If that isn't a verb, it should be)!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Other Creations: CKCB Challenge- Beatrix Potter Book Journal

Welcome to another fantastic challenge from CKCB!  Our challenge this month was to make a project inspired by our love for childrens' books.  The hardest thing about this challenge for me was to try and narrow it down from so many possibilities!  I was lucky to have a mom who read to me and I've always been enthralled by literature.  And the artwork!!  I am a forever fan of Richard Scarry and Maurice Sendak.  I also adore the retro artwork from the Little Golden Books.  So much good out there!

For my project, I decided to pay homage to Beatrix Potter.  The tale of Peter Rabbit has a special place in my heart, so I absolutely had to buy this amazing piece of fabric I found!  Using it as my focal point, I made a collaged cover for a book journal where I write down what I've read and whether or not I liked it.

I used some Gesso  and pale blue acrylic paint to outline the edges of the fabric and to add some color to the Heidi Swapp paper I sewed it onto.  I also cut out a "rabbit" definition from a vintage childrens' dictionary and cut it into a file tab shape. 

Here's a close-up of that gorgeous fabric!

I also added a piece of scalloped lace to the bottom and attached some fabric scraps on the side.

To finish it off, I adhered everything to background paper from Basic Grey.

I must say that this has been one of my absolute favorite CKCB challenges.  Thanks to my fellow Design Team members for never ceasing to inspire!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tutorials: Tunnel Book

So I've seen a lot of cool tunnel books lately (books that have accordion-fold sides and pages with openings so that when you look through, it's tunnel-esque) and thought I'd try to make one myself.  Here's a little peek into my finished product, followed by the step-by-step instructions:

Start with pages that you've either cut openings in (descending in size from large to small) or used a set of nesting dies on.  For mine, I used a label set of dies from Spellbinders.

Using a scoring board, make two identical accordion-folded sides.  It doesn't matter how close together the folds are or how many folds you have.  It's entirely up to you and how many levels or layers you want your tunnel book to have.

Glue your pages to your accordion sides.  Here are pictures of one side connected to the pages:

Now you're ready to make your background scene (what you'll see through the tunnel holes).  I made a fabric collage of a bird.

Attach the bird scene to the back page and glue on your second accordion side.  Unlike a real book, tunnel books typically don't open.  Both sides of the pages are glued to the accordion sides so it's more like a tunnel box.  Here's what it looks like from a few different angels once I glued it all together.  I also added a Prima flower and a strip of lace:

After it was glued together, it was easy to look and see where else I wanted to add embellishments.  I added some other flowers, yarn and some fabric strips to look like curtains on the sides.  Here is my finished tunnel book. 

Tunnel books are fun to make and the possibilities are endless.  While their depth makes the inside a little difficult to photograph (sorry about the shadows!), I promise that they are quite stunning in real life!

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Cards and Tags: Pretty Prima Bird

Well loyal blog readers, if you've been keeping score, you know that I LOVE two things: fabric and birds!  I decided to combine them with some of those gorgeous new Prima collections I've been talking about to make this little birdie card:

I used the bird stamp from the Prima Lyric collection (SUCH a cute bird!) and stamped it right onto some fabric that I layered and inked. 

 I also threw a Prima flower in there.  The "wonky" hand-drawn-looking frame is from the Prima Lifetime collection and the background paper is from the Prima Sunrise Sunset collection.  I also made a strip of corrugated background paper using the Marvy Uchida "Corru-gator" tool.  To finish it off, I used a piece of the Prima Ledger Pad and a Stampin' Up! border punch to replicate the look of a torn notebook page.

This is a great time of year to be a fan of paper because there are all sorts of brand new collections out that I am so excited to explore!  Yay for new paper!