Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's Your Day

This one got me the yellow ribbon as a Third Prize winner.  As this is the final post of my NJ State Fair entries for this year, it’s probably time to get started on next year’s entries!  Meanwhile, if someone’s Special Day is coming up, what better way to greet it than with a sunshine-bright card?

This background uses one of my favorite techniques:  it’s fun, easy, quick, not messy, and fail-proof.  I love the pop of pure white on rich color, so I first sponge on two or three colors, mist to blend if desired, and then wait until it’s bone dry before proceeding – use a heat gun to speed things up.  When it’s really dry*, stamp your image and heat emboss with white powder.

If you’d like a more muted embossed result, stamp and emboss first.  Then sponge on your colors, mist as before, and wipe off the residue with a paper towel.  The original sharp white of the embossing will be more subtle which looks very nice and may be what you’re after.  It’s your call . . . try both methods and see which one suits your project.

 *A quick way to see if your background is truly dry before over-stamping and embossing  on it is to scatter a little embossing powder over it.  If it sticks, guess what?  Your background isn’t dry enough.  Brush off the powder, heat to dry with your heat gun, and try again.  If it’s truly dry, the powder will not stick where you don’t want it. 

 Cardstock:                     Bazzill Marigold, Santillo, watercolor paper
Stamps:                           Peddler’s Pack Daisy Background, Hero “It’s Your Day”
Inks:                                 ColorBox Frost White, Black, Distress Spiced Marmalade,
                                             Mustard Seed                  
Emb Powder:                Judikins Opaque White, Detail Black
Dies/Punches:               EK Success Zig Zag corner punch, Joy Butterfly, Spellbinders
                                              Fleur de Lis
Doo Dads:                     Orange crystals, Distress Stickles Rock Candy

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Anniversary

My final First Prize from the NJ State Fair:  I never pass up the opportunity to use any of Fred Mullett’s timeless images.  Although his collection of incredible rubber art is eclectic and growing, his original and long-popular organic images never get old and can work beautifully for just about any occasion . . .

 . . . and when you’ve got a stamp of two heart-shaped leaves and an Anniversary card to do, it seems to me you’re set to go!

Cardstock:                      Marcos Jute, Bazzill Leapfrog, Beckett Moonlight     
Stamps:                           Fred Mullett Wild Ginger, Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Background,
                                              A Watkins “Happy Anniversary”
Inks:                                Distress Brushed Corduroy, Peeled Paint
Emb Powder:                Vippies Transcendence
Dies/Punches:               Hero Small Tag Frame
Impression Plate:        Cheery Lynn Burble                   
Doo Dads:                      Brown/Cream stitched ribbon bow, Brown brads

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Too Cute

This one also got First Prize at the NJ State Fair:  Jennifer McGuire recently offered some good advice on dealing with a creative slump.  When this happens to her, she goes back into her own stash of completed cards and uses them to give her a jumpstart.  She says that as her work will obviously be her style, this shortcuts the creative process and gets her back on track sooner rather than later.  So I decided to do the same thing . . .

 . . . one of the categories for this year’s Fair submissions was “Baby” and my collection of suitable images on this subject is very much on the thin side.  So I dipped into my blog from last September, kept the bones of the layout I put together then, and had fun with some variations.

Lots of dimension on this one, folks . . .

 Cardstock:                      Bazzill Rain Forest, Marcos Brown Bag, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:                           Lockhart Sweet Pea, Studio G “Too Cute”
Inks:                                 ColorBox Black, Distress Markers Spun Sugar, Peeled Paint,
                                           Shabby Shutters, Picket Fence, Brushed Corduroy, Ancient
                                           Page Coal                   
Emb Powder:                Judikins Detail Black
Dies/Punches:              Memory Box Bird Huddle, Impression Obsession Branch,
                                          Spellbinders Labels Twenty, 1/8” corner rounder
Doo Dads:                     Distress Brushed Corduroy Stickles, Gelly Roll White pen,
                                             tan raffia knot

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thinking of You

Another Blue Ribbon winner from the NJ State Fair:  White-on-white has an elegant look to it that few other color combos can equal . . .


 . . . but a pretty pop of color for an accent doesn’t hurt either.  I like contrast, and this color scheme certainly has it.

 I had fun with the “button” too:  it’s made of five stacked and glued circles punched out from cardstock scraps.  It may be too small to photograph well, but the technique works beautifully on any size piece of cardstock.

Before gluing down the top layer of the button, I used a zinnia flower die to texturize instead of cut.  You can do this with any die having a pattern you’d like to transfer to a piece of cardstock.  All you have to do is use it in an embossing sandwich instead of a cutting sandwich.  If you top the die blades with your cardstock, and then your embossing pads instead of the cutting pads, the die will emboss instead of cut.  Easy peasy!

 Cardstock:                     Bazzill Bon Bon, Beckett Moonlight, Generic Watercolor
Stamps:                           Hero Old Letter Writing, Stamp Pad “Thinking of You”
Inks:                                  Distress Fired Brick, Brushed Corduroy 
Emb Powder:                Vippies Clear Transcendence
Dies/Punches:               Memory Box Prim Poppy, Spellbinders Classic Ovals,
                                             DieNamics Labels & Tags, Savvy Flower Blossom,
                                         5/8” circle punch,   Dual-slot punch, 1/8” corner rounder
Impression Plate:          PaperTrey Ink Linen


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Love Much

Today begins a five-card series showing my entries in the New Jersey State Fair, held annually during the first week of August.  Happily, I’ve done well with my entries during the previous three years and have lots of lovely ribbons to show for my efforts, though I have no idea what to do with them!  However, as I got paid for a few of my cards that got published last year, I now have to exhibit as a Professional – which means that the competition is stiffer.  Still and all, out of six cards entered, I came away with four Firsts and one Third . . . Yay ME! 


This one was a Blue Ribbon winner: 
Although there are seven stamps used on this card, I also had fun with punches:  eight to be exact!  Moreover, I’ve taken to heart the numerous encouragements I’ve been reading lately about getting the most use out of my supplies as possible.  Tricks like using parts of images appealed to me, so on this card, I did that in three ways:

1. The cake topper is just the very top part of an image that actually inspired this layout:  it was a three-layer cake and I loved it, but I needed a larger cake in order to make more of an impact.  So I used just the topper.

2. The middle layer is just a third of the actual image.  I was easily able to ink just a part of the stamp because I used a marker.

3. The bow on the gift is actually the wings snipped off a punch-out of a cherub.   Sounds a bit grim, but happily, no real cherub was injured in the making of this card!

 Cardstock:                      Bazzill Dark Tangerine, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:                           Stampendous Sweet Montage, Stamp Out Cute Music,
                                              Impress Flourish, Outlines Star from Bits & Pieces set,
                                              Memory Box Bird Huddle, Fred Mullett Waves,
                                              Unknown “Live well . . .”
Inks:                                PaperTrey Ink Fresh Snow, ColorBox Frost White, Gold 
                                             Marvy Wet Looks Marker #43,   Kaleidoscope Creole (lightest
Emb Powder:                Judikins Opaque White, Ranger Gold, Transcendence Clear
Dies/Punches:              Scalloped rectangular punches (3 sizes), postage stamp punch,
                                              tiny leaves, flowers, Fiskars Scalloped Border, Marvy Cherub
                                          (wings only)
Doo Dads:                     Deckle-edged scissors

Monday, August 12, 2013


Every now and again, I like to go for a subtle color palette and a quietly peaceful look . . .

Melissa Phillips did a tutorial for Papertrey Ink on July 25 which showcased her lovely embossed vellum feathers.  I thought it would be fun to do the same technique with some leaf punch-outs.  I’ve heard some unhappy stories about working with vellum and I’ve always been a little timid to try it.  But this went off without a hitch – no warping or smearing.  Think I’ll play with this lovely stuff again!

Cardstock:                     Marcos Jute, Generic Vellum
Stamps:                           Creative Catalyst Tweed Border, Lost Coast Daisy,
                                            Hero Friends Background, Angel Co “Bliss”
Inks:                                 Distress Brushed Corduroy, ColorBox Cream White 
Emb Powder:                B’Muse Eggshell
Emb Folder:                   Cuttlebug Tiny Mesh
Dies/Punches:               Cheery Lynn Build-A-Flower #1 die, W+9 Banner Trio die,
                                            McGill Butterfly, Emagination Flower
Doo Dads:                     Wooden button, May Arts Jute twine, brads, pearls

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thanks So Much

Having just been gifted with my new favorite feather stamp by my dear friend Carol, I naturally had to put it to work right away in a Thank You note to her . . .

The card is a typical A2 size but I put the fold at the top just to shake things up a wee bit. 

 Design Idea:  Carol often likes to use a dark ink around the edges of some of her stamped images and I too love the look – it really grounds images that might otherwise look a little floaty when the design layout is on the minimalist side.
Cardstock:       Bazzill Marigold, watercolor cardstock           
Stamps:             Stamp Zia Small Feather, Unknown “Thanks so much”,
                                Stampin’ Up Itty Bitty Background
Inks:                   Fiber Scraps Stain Moss, Rust, Tea, Ancient Page Coal,
                                ColorBox Frost White, Perfect Pearls Mist Bronze                              
Emb Powder:    B’Muse Detail Eggshell          
Dies/Punches:   WPlus9 Banner Trio, 1/8th Corner Rounder   
Doo Dads:         Pearls, fibers, ribbon rosette



Monday, August 5, 2013

Follow Your Bliss

In early July, Stamp Zia announced that her business was closing.  Owner and sole artist Zana Clark is a former art educator and school administrator who brought her unique artistry to the stamping world in 1996 when she created Stamp Zia.  Her art broke many molds:  the exotic butterfly pictured below is one of her many lovely images . . .

Saying goodbye to her unique talents is heartbreaking indeed.  I’m grateful that I’ve collected many of her exquisite images and will continue to enjoy using them often.

Cardstock:       Bazzill Black, Generic Black, Beckett Iceberg
Stamps:             Stamp Zia Spikes Edge, Netting, Wide Zia Butterfly,
                              Dotted Running Stitch (Quilt Stitches set), So She Stamps
                             “Follow Your Bliss”
Inks:                   ColorBox Black, Silver, Stamp It Purple, Ancient Page Pine,
                              Adirondack Stream                                                    
Emb Powder:  Judikins Detail Black, B’Muse Silver, Stamp Zia Black Sparkle             

Thursday, August 1, 2013


The receptionist for my chiropractor is leaving the office for a great job opportunity.  As she’s a bit apprehensive about the new job skills she’ll need to acquire, I thought a little encouragement wouldn’t hurt.  The inside message reads, “Leap . . . and the net will appear”. Once again, my Background Box yielded a wonderful piece of ready-to-use cardstock to set the tone . . .

The technique on this one is quirky but easy and yields gorgeous results.  Lindy’s Starburst Stains come in dauber tops and in addition to gorgeous color, they also contain wonderful glimmer and shine.  You can find them here.  Lindy calls this technique “Moon Lace” and it’s fun to do. 

Here’s how:  mist some watercolor paper and daub on your background colors, blending as you wish.  When dry, lay down a sheet of Stitch Witchery fusible webbing (it has heat-activated stickiness on both sides and is used for interfacing on clothing) onto your background and hold it with an alligator clamp.  Heat until it melts, becomes lacy and almost clear, firm and shiny. 

Now dump on a load of embossing powder, tap off the excess, and heat until the powder is melted.  I found great results for this second step by putting this in my toaster oven where there was no blast of air to blow my powder off.  I put my rack to its lowest position, set my oven to broil/toast, left the door open, and with no distractions permitted, watched like a hawk for the 30-or-so seconds it took.   GORGEOUS!

Cardstock:       Generic Mulberry Linen, White, Dull Silver, Marcos Champion
                             Benefit Cover Ribbed White, Watercolor paper
Stamps:             Starving Artistamps Ball Fringe stitched border, Appaloosa “Destiny”
Inks:                   Lindy’s Stamp Gang Starburst Dauber Stains Amaryllis Burgundy,
                            Sweet Violet, ColorBox Frost White, Gelly Roll Clear Star                                
Emb Powder:  B’Muse Deep Indigo, Judikins Opaque White              
Dies/Punches:  Memory Box Grove Branch, Cheery Lynn Hummingbird, Spellbinders
                                Deckled Rectangle Small
Doo Dads:        Burgundy crystal for the bird’s eye, deckled scissors, 1/8” corner rounder,
                                Stitch Witchery Fusible Webbing