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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sending Comfort and Joy

Good morning, friends! I'm back with you today to share a pair of projects that are very "deer" to me. (ahaha... my puns are so sad. Don't judge, please.) While at JunkieFest this past summer, one of our challenges was to start a card, while someone else "finished" it. My project there inspired the project that I'm showing you today. Let's get to the details! 

I created another pair of cards... I can't help myself anymore...  I started with some Arches cold press watercolor paper and die cut a pair of pierced circles using the Avery Elle Sweet Scallops die... That die set is incredible, btw, and SO versatile. I then heat embossed the deer head from Lil Inker's Oh Deer using gold glitter embossing powder on the pierced ovals, then watercolored it using a combination of Zig markers and Distress Inks. 

While the deer were drying, I used the Hero Arts Garland background stamp to stamp on both cherry red and wine colored card stock using the same gold glitter embossing powder. To add a little bit of interest to the project, I used a strip of a very very old Cosmo Cricket 6x6 paper pad that I've been hoarding for years. I have been trying to do a little bit of a purge/organize and came to the horrific realization that I have an embarrassing amount of holiday patterned paper... So I resolved to use some of it. These two 2" strips should really put a dent in my stash, right? Bahaha.... 

I added a strip of gold glitter paper behind the patterned paper, then popped up the stripes and the deer head using dimensional adhesive. I love the simplicity of this card. Definitely doesn't re-invent the wheel, but there's something about a simple card design that helps to cleanse the creative palate, I think. Plus, it's sparkly. :) 

That's all for me today! I hope you enjoyed my projects! Slowly building up my stash before the real craziness starts!! More details on that when it becomes official! Have a fabulous Thursday, friends! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

When I'm getting in the holiday mood in my craft room, it's usually still fairly warm and sunny outside, so I have to crank up the holiday tunes on my Pandora. Johnny Mathis Christmas songs really get my nostalgic Christmas memories flowing, and remind me of how much Christmas means to me. Those tunes, coupled with the vintage images that have been super popular this year, really help get my creativity flowing. Let's get started!
When I first saw these darling little vintage deer from the Avery Elle "Kitsch Christmas" I knew I neeeeeeded them. Not only were they adorable, but I could color them too! I immediately stamped several of them using Versafine ink and heat embossed them with clear on my favorite watercolor paper, then got to work watercoloring them with my Zig markers. These images scream "vintage" to me, so I went with a vintage aqua and red color scheme. 

For my simpler card, I simply used the little starburst/snowflake images included in the Kitsch Christmas set to flow from the top left to bottom right corner of my card base. I stamped them using Tropical Teal ink from PTI onto a Tropical Teal card base, and I used all of the sizes included, spreading them out and using the larger images towards the bottom. After I had done that, I wanted to highlight my cascade a little more, so I used my Clarity Stencil brushes to add some color in the opposite corners. The greeting, from Avery Elle's Comfort and Joy stamp set, was stamped with Versamark, then heat embossed in sparkly red embossing powder. I added a red foil frame die cut with the Double Stitched Rectangle dies from The Ton around the edge using dimensional adhesive, then added some sequins from my stash. 

This next card was certainly more involved, but I am loooooving it. I started by stamping the Hand Drawn Snowflake background from Hero Arts on a bright turquoise card base using Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue ink. I then placed my red foil frame (cut at the same time as the frame used for my first card! Love those double stitched dies from The Ton.) on my card base and determined where I wanted to place my deer and my sentiment, conveniently placing my sentiment on my MISTI to ensure it was stamped where I had originally intended it haha. I then used an older technique that I learned from Jennifer McGuire: use white pigment ink to highlight a sentiment on a busy background. I started by masking off the corner of the card base, because I wanted the edge to be nice and clean. I then used a makeup sponge and some white pigment ink to concentrate the color in the center of where the sentiment would end up, and pulling the color out towards the edge in a sort of halo effect. Once it was opaque to my satisfaction, I set it aside to dry overnight. I didn't use my heat gun, because I didn't want the card base to warp. (Actually, naptime was over and I didn't get to work on it again until the next day. See how I made it seem like it was intentional? Teehee!!)

After my white pigment ink had dried, I stamped and heat embossed my greeting from Comfort and Joy in the same red glitter embossing powder, being sure to use my anti-static tool first. (That glitter gets eeeeeverywhere.) After that was completed, it was time for the fun part: filling the shaker! I filled it with a variety of red, turquoise, teal, and iridescent sequins, as well as some pearly white seed beads. I love making shaker mixes. They make my heart happy. 

Aren't these little vintage cards so cute?! That darling deer is so precious. One of my favorite new holiday sets, to be sure. Have a fabulous day, friends, and I will see you back here in a few days! I have approximately a bazillion more projects to share with you that I've been hoarding, ahem, stockpiling, so I will have a new blog post for you shortly! 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Christmas onslaught...

...And so it begins. I have been sporadically working on holiday cards for the last couple of months, but now that we're well into October, I'm really in full-blown holiday mode. The onslaught of holiday blog posts has begun.
For the last few weeks, I have been unable to make anything but card sets when I sit down at my desk. I figure, if I'm going to have my MISTI set up to stamp, I might as well stamp a bunch of die cuts. Today's project is a set of 4 cards. (My apologies for the slight fuzzieness of my photos... not sure what's going on with my resolution of my pictures.) 

These cards are an homage to the Papertrey Ink Make It Market kits... I used two of them for these cards. I started by stamping the mailbox from the new Post and Parcel kit using Pure Poppy, along with the ornament and candy cane foliage arrangement using New Leaf and Pure Poppy. (I used all PTI inks for these projects.) I did stamp the mailbox post with the Woodgrain Background from Concord and 9th using the new Rich Cocoa ink. 

I then stamped the frame from the Don't Forget To Write kit in Pure Poppy and New Leaf inks. This frame works beautifully for a sort of grounding image so that my mailbox wasn't just kinda floating out in mid-air on my card front. 

The greeting is from the PTI Christmas Cheer stamp and die set. I stamped the "sending" and "greetings" onto some thin strips of white card stock using Smokey Shadow ink, and the "Holiday" was die cut from silver foil. I popped up the frame, mailbox, and post with dimensional adhesive, then added the greeting over the top. The "sending" is tucked nicely in the little slot for the mailbox. (Love all of the clever details included in these Make It Market kits!) 

Well, that's all for me today. Hope you're ready for lots more holiday cards!! :) Have a great day, friends! 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Where Creativity Meets C9 October Challenge!

Hello, friends! I hope you're all having a marvelous weekend. Today, I'm here to share with you the new challenge for the Where Creativity Meets C9 blog:

Since I watercolor on basically every single card I make, I thought this challenge would be a breeze. I'm not going to lie, though, I struggled with this one for some reason. I challenged myself to NOT do flowers, since I would and do watercolor flowers morning, noon, and night, so I pulled out my non-floral C9 sets and tried to come up with an idea. Ahem. After two disastrous attempts that looked far better in my mind's eye than in reality, this is what I came up with:

I started with some watercolor paper. I like the bright, crisp white of the Master's Touch paper from Hobby Lobby (bonus-it's super inexpensive!), so I die cut the insanely clever dies from the new Christmas Cottage die collection. I could honestly have probably left them like that and done a simple and chic silhouette, but as this is a watercolor challenge, I thought I'd add some color to them. My next step was to stamp the die cuts with their coordinating Christmas Cottage stamps using Distress Inks. It left blotchy areas on the textured watercolor paper, but we'll fix that momentarily. I love doing this technique; it really makes me feel artistic, like I'm actually painting and not just coloring in the lines (which is basically all I ever do haha!). After I had stamped the trees and house with their coordinating stamps, I used my wet paintbrush to fill in the blotchy spots. 

For the snow, I wanted it to be sparkly and shimmery to emulate real snow. I mixed together a little bit of Pumice Stone Distress Ink, plenty of Perfect Pearls, and water on an acrylic block, then used that paste to color in where I wanted the snow to go on the trees, house, and snowdrifts. You'll notice there are two different shades of "snow" on the drifts; I first used a more diluted version to color the drifts and make them really sparkly, then added more Perfect Pearls to add some shadows. I love how this mixture is just opaque enough to give really good coverage over colors. 

For the background panel, I simply dabbed some Chipped Sapphire onto an acrylic block, then sprinkled in some more Perfect Pearls and water, then used a wide brush to watercolor the whole panel, adding more color to the top of the card. This card is SO shimmery in real life; you just can't capture sparkle like that in a photo! The lovely script greeting is from last month's Holy Night, and I couldn't think of a better sentiment to add to this peaceful holiday card. I simply heat embossed it with white embossing powder, then added some coordinating sequins in peaceful shades of grayish blue.

Now, for the challenge! The Where Creativity Meets C9 Design Team is challenging YOU to create your own watercolor card using Concord and 9th products! You have until October 29, 2016 to create your project and link it up to the challenge blog's inlinkz tool. It's worth it to enter.... not only do you get to have a blast playing with your C9 stamps, but you also are entered into a random drawing for a $25 gift certificate to Concord and 9th! Thanks so very much to our generous sponsors for giving such incentive to play along. :) The best entry will be offered a guest designer spot for the following month's challenge!

Well, that's all for me! Be sure to check out the Where Creativity Meets C9 blog, Facebook page, and Instagram feed. I can't wait to see all of the fantastic entries!!! Good luck!