Monday, March 30, 2015

Special Day

This card uses two of my current favorite techniques:  color sprays for quick backgrounds, and UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) applied without using ink . . .

I love using sprays because they always turn out beautifully and you never know exactly what you're going to get – which adds to the excitement!

As for UTEE, I like to take the merest pinch of the coarse powder granules and drop them at random on the cardstock.  Heat from beneath to avoid scattering them.  The result is subtle and very artistic.  Of course, it may be so subtle that the camera won't pick it up, but in real life, trust me – it's quite lovely.

In keeping with the owl image on the card front, the message inside reads, "Older, wiser, and better in every way."  Which describes my friend since junior high to perfection!

Cardstock:   Bazzill Cinder, Unknown Lilac, Paper Cut Watercolor paper
Stamps:        Unity Older, Wiser, Better Owl, Lost Coast “Happy Birthday”,
                           Simon Says Sketchy Banner Greetings “wishes for your
                           special day”
Inks:               Stamp Zia Color Wash Jewels Amethyst, Citron, Obsidian,
                           Memories Soft Stone, ColorBox Frost White, Perfect Pearls
                           Pearl Mist, Wink of Stella Clear
Emb Powder:  Judikins Detail White, Ranger Liquid Platinum, Suze
                              Weinberg UTEE Violet, Platinum
Dies:              Impression Obsession Bare Branch , Simon Says
                           Sketchy Banner
Doo Dads:    1/8” corner rounder, Pro Art White glitter

Thursday, March 26, 2015

So Thoughtful

Amy of Amy's Magic has been absent from the circuit for the last few years and has hugely been missed.  Recovery from a car accident has taken some time, but she's busy at the drawing board and assures us that she will soon be back on track.  YAY!

Recently, I made her a card which featured a lovely stamp I bought at her booth in 2007:

It's called "Lydia's Flower" and I decided to turn it into a wall hanging.  I put it behind an embossed pot holding a twiggy plant and bordered it with what looks like a hand woven
fabric panel.  Wish my own living room looked this nice:

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute, Bazzill Kisses
Stamps:        Amy’s Magic Lydia’s Flower, Stampers Anonymous
                           Dotted Border, Hero's "So thoughtful"
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White, Wink of Stella Clear
Emb Powder:   Judikins Opaque White
Dies:              Quickutz Vases, Spellbinders Classic Squares Small,
                           Impression Obsession Bare Branch, Impression
                           Obsession Mini Rectangle Tags 1
Watercolors: Peerless Blood Red, Arbutis Pink
Emb Folder:  Quickutz Sketchbook, Cuttlebug Mesh
Doo Dads:     May Arts Jute cord

Monday, March 23, 2015

You're Amazing

Last week, I posted our priest's Retirement card.  Today's card is for his wife.  In Eastern Orthodoxy, priests are not only allowed to be married, but they are also very much encouraged to do so.  Matushka* JoAnne is an amazing woman and I thought her card should say so . . .

In addition to the endless duties involved in keeping a parish going, Matushka also raised six children and held down a full time job.  And did all of it with energy and plenty of laughter.  "Amazing" doesn't even begin to cover it . . .

One little side note re the speckled background:  without using any stamps or ink, I sprinkled pinches of black UTEE here and there, held the cardstock with my wooden bagel tongs, and heated it from underneath to keep from scattering the powder.  I have several stamps with a variety of speckled designs, but I really prefer this method because the UTEE adds dimension.
* In the Russian tradition, Priest's and Deacon's wives are referred to as "Matushka" which means "Mother". 

Cardstock:   Marcos Jute
Stamps:        Rubber Monger Pomegranate, Pomegranate Half,
                           text is from Simon Says Sketchy Banner Greetings
Inks:               Hero Black, ColorBox Black, Distress Brushed Corduroy
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black
Dies:              Simon Says Sketchy Banners
Colored Pencils:   Inktense Watercolor Shiraz, Fuchsia, Chili Red,
                                       Poppy Red, Sherbet Lemon, Antique White,
                                       Stabilo 8043 Dark Green
Impr Plate:    Cheery Lynn Burble, Papertrey Ink Canvas
Doo Dads:    Black UTEE, Glossy Accents

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Happy Retirement

When our much-loved priest announced his retirement late last year, it was quite a shock to all of us.  Father Sam has done a wonderful job and he will be greatly missed.  After a lifetime of dedicated service, I thought that images of beautiful rising balloons would be a happy send-off . . .

Glossy Accents were used to intensify the colors and add dimension to the hot air balloons.  Up, up, and away!  But we're hoping not too far away . . .

Cardstock:   The Paper Cut Brown Umber, Neenah Solar White
Stamps:        Unknown “Happy Retirement”
Inks:               Distress Brushed Corduroy, Weathered Wood, Gina K
                           Charcoal Brown
Emb Powder:      Vippie’s Transcendence
Dies:              Cheery Lynn Hot Air Balloons, Memory Box Puffy Clouds
Colored Pencils:  Inktense Mauve, Iris Blue, Mallard Green, Poppy Red,
                                    Tangerine, Sicilian Yellow, Aquarelle Dark Green
Impr Plate:    Papertrey Ink Canvas
Doo Dads:    Glossy Accents

Monday, March 16, 2015

Eat Your Veggies

This is my first attempt at watercoloring with my new Peerless watercolors . . .

Well, actually, it's the second attempt.  The real first attempt is too grotesque for words and was one of the few efforts I've made that were non-resuscitate-able.  It was actually the veggies' fault and not that of the water colors – I black-embossed the little darlins and they didn't like it.  Neither did I.  I think if I'd used Distress Black Soot instead of super shiny powder, the four of us would have loved it.  Must try that next time.

I adore these watercolors and will probably give them some of my crowded and valuable desktop real estate so I can have them handy . . . lots of practice up ahead for sure, but I'm enjoying the journey!  

Cardstock:   Bazzill Cocoa, watercolor paper
Stamps:        A Stamp in the Hand: Veggie Set
Inks:               Hero Black, Distress Brushed Corduroy
Emb Powder:  Vippies Transcendence
Watercolors:   Peerless Grass Green, Hunter Green, Blood Red,
                             Chrome Orange, Cobalt Blue, Burnt Umber
Doo Dads:    Jute twine

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 17

Some of the lovely things that Ireland is noted for are metal work, gorgeous lace, shamrocks, and the color green . . .

 . . . all of which I attempted to portray in this layout.  Happy St Patrick's Day . . . and  don't forget to wear green so you can avoid getting pinched!  Or aren't they doing that anymore?

Cardstock:   Bazzill Smokey, Generic Dark Green,  Black, Paper Cut
                           White Matte Coat
Stamps:        Stamp a Mania Shamrock Mosaic, Rubber Mania Stained
                           Glass Large, Studio G “March 17”
Inks:               ColorBox Black, Frost White, Wink of Stella Silver
Emb Powder:   Judikins Detail Black, Opaque White
Dies:              Spellbinders Fleur de Lis, Fancy Tags, Small Classic  
                           Inverted Scalloped Square
Watercolor Pencils:   Stabilo 8043 Dark Green
Doo Dads:    Tulip Heat Fix Crystals

Just Saying Thanks

Many of you long-time stampers are no strangers to Ellen Gordon of Evolving Images. Now retired, she was the designer of many clever and time-saving stamping tools, in addition to a line of stamps.  My favorite tools were her Layering Templates.  These were sets of graduated clear acrylic pieces in basic shapes that were sized for A2 cards.  Using these took all of the guesswork and tedious measuring out of making frames as well as layers.  You simply laid out your stamped piece or cardstock of choice, topped it with a template, and cut around it with your craft knife.  Instant perfection!  You could also sponge around any of the shapes for soft framing.

The background on today's card was cut out with one of her templates . . .

By more than ten years, Ellen also beat the current stencil mania (and then some) when she designed beautiful sets of stamps, and provided stencils to match.  Always one to go for the extra touch, her stencil sets included the cutout pieces as well as the mortises.  This allowed you to stamp the images, cover them with the punch-out, and sponge in your background.  Or you could surround the image with the mortise and sponge in just the image.  Both methods were used on this card which uses two of her leaf sets.

Ellen's clever ideas made designing and card-creating easier for thousands of happy  stampers and her input is very much missed.  Happy Retirement, Ellen!

 Cardstock:   Bazzill White, Cougar Opaque Cover White
Stamps:        Evolving Images Leaf Sets #42 & #43, Simon Says Tilted
                           Banner Sayings
Inks:               Hero Black, ColorBox Black, Distress Dusty Concord,
                           Aged Mahogany, Fired Brick, Black Soot, Weathered Wood,
                           Stormy Sky
Marker:          Copic W3 Warm Gray #3
Emb Powder:  Judikins Detail Black, Stampendous Shabby White
Dies:              Simon Says Tilted Banners
Stencil:          Evolving Images Leaf Sets #42 & #43
Doo Dads:    Perfect Pearl Mist Silver

Monday, March 9, 2015

With Sympathy

When the husband of one of our stamp club members died instantly from a completely unforeseen heart attack, I was once again reminded of how helpless one can feel at a time like this.  Whenever possible, that's when I head for my stamping table . . .

Pouring your heart and mind into sending comfort by making something as beautiful as possible can do a lot to deal with those helpless feelings.  All of my cards are wrapped in love – and never more so than during these crushingly sad events.

Cardstock:               Marcos Jute, Generic Vellum, Watercolor paper           
Stamps:                   Starving Artistamps Altered Stitches Zig Zag stitch, Hero
                                       Friend Definition
Inks:                           ColorBox Frost White, Vivid Purple
Emb Powder:          Judikins Opaque White
Dies:                          Cheery Lynn Build A Flower #1                             
Emb Folder:             Crafts Too Damask            
Doo Dads:                Jute cord, Purple brads

Thursday, March 5, 2015


This card was sent out in response to a call from Greg Smallwood of 
Marco Paper, one of the best sources ever for a huge variety of stamping supplies.  A wonderful gentleman named Walter White was about to have his 100th birthday and Greg thought stampers would like to help him celebrate . . . 

Walter has been keeping himself busy in the back room of Marco's by putting together dollar packs of scrap cardstock that stampers have been buying at shows for several years.  These have come in really handy for many of us, and have put small scraps to good use that otherwise might have been thrown away.  Sometimes, the smallest of details turns out to have the most charming history behind them . . .

Cardstock:   Marco's Jute
Stamps:        Paper Smooches Timber, Judikins Stitched Leaves
                          Background, Starving Artistamps Altered Stitches:
                          Feather, Stamp in the Mail “Happiness”    
Inks:               ColorBox Frost White, Distress Brushed Corduroy,
                         Tombow #845, #195, #985, Marvy LePlume II #36
Emb Powder:   Judikins Opaque White
Dies:              Verve Ribbon Banner, Memory Box Fresh Daisies      
Doo Dads:    Distress Stickles Tarnished Brass

Monday, March 2, 2015


When my friend's 16-year old cat died, I was made aware that I don't have much in the way of suitable cat images for such a sad feline event . . .

 . . . so it was dies to the rescue.  Mac was a beautiful, rust-colored cat with pure white whiskers.  I sat him in the window looking out at an evening sky studded with shimmering copper colored stars to light his way home.  Mac was a well-loved cat . . .

Cardstock:               Generic Black, Rust, Champion Narrow Ribbed
                                     Cream Puff, Beckett Moonlight
Stamps:                    Raindrops on Roses Stardust, Unknown Cat’s Paws
Inks:                           VersaMark, Hero Black
Emb Powder:          Stamp-a-Mania Desert Wind
Dies:                          Impression Obsession Cat Set, Quickutz Window,
                                     Mama Elephant Femme Frames , DieVersions
                                     Hint of Lime Font, Simon Says Sketchy Banners
Emb Folder:             The Paper Studio Woodgrain       
Doo Dads:               Black satin ribbon, jute cord