Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Northern Lights

So I've always loved a good galaxy scene, but hadn't really tackled the Northern Lights look.
I decided to make two cards, because once you try this type of background, you just have to make more!

For the first card, I used the following Distress Oxides:  From left to right I did: Black Soot, Chipped Sapphire, Hickory Smoke, Peacock Feathers, Lucky Clover, Hickory Smoke, Chipped Sapphire, and Black Soot. Here's the background, and then the completed card below.

Stamps and dies here were all Lawn Fawn:
Plus the Oxides noted above, many Copics, shimmery paper for the mountains, and and moon was created by using two circle punches a 1-inch and 3/4 inch 

For this card, I wanted more of that bright lime colour I associate with the Northern Lights I have seen locally. From top to bottom it goes, Black Soot, Chipped Sapphire, Hickory Smoke, Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers, Hickory Smoke, Chipped Sapphire, Black Soot.

For this technique, I really find adding in a grey oxide is really what helps to make it. It helps to mute the brighter colours a bit and seems to ease their blending into the darker night sky colours.

I actually ended up changing the final card slightly. I cut down the blue border to be a very fine frame and placed the entire thing on a white card base.
Products were mostly Lawn Fawn again:

Monday, August 19, 2019

Camp Create August 2019

I had so much fun with July's Camp Create that I decided to tackle August's as well!

First Up Inlaid Made Easy:

For this card, I started off with a mostly completed blended background from my stash of pre-blended backgrounds. The only update I made was adding in some white speckles using white acrylic paint, because I wanted a slightly snowy scene. I first die cut the Birch Trees from the background. I die-cut another set from white paper and inlay those into the background. I wanted a layered look to the dies, so I used the Peace word die (now retired, but you could use Impact Alphabet) and cut that out from the base layer. I die-cut a second set from silver cardstock and inlay those into the background. The final step was adding a little "on earth" banner from the Peace stamp and die Hero Arts set and then placing the entire background onto a dark grey card based. 

Next Magnificent Masking:

I loved the samples for this challenge, but decided to do some more traditional masking. I recently got the Cool Cat set and hadn't used it yet. I started my scene by stamping the larger shorthair (coloured grey and white). I made a mask of that cat, and stamped the ones on either side of it. I also made a mask of the one with the necklace so that just a bit of the orange one would be behind it. I also loved the look of the cat with the bow-tie in the one image, but only wanted to use the one cat, so I did some more specific masking here to block out the other cat and the bed in that image.

After that was done, I got to colouring with various Copics and other alcohol markers. I added a hand-drawn shadow underneath the group of cats, and added in some of the other elements from this set to complete the scene (the food/water dish, the fish bowl and the vase). I decided on a more simple layout and found some basic polka dot paper from my patterned paper stash.

Now, onto Background Bonanza:

Realistically, almost all of the cards I made for this session of Camp Create could have applied to this challenge, although this was the specific one I designed with the challenge in mind. I started off with the now retired hooray die- I die cut it twice with some ultra thick white cardstock and applied a layer of wink of stella to give it a pretty shimmer.

The background was made using regular distress inks- Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalde, Picked Raspberry, Wilted Violet and Salty Ocean. I blended the base layer and then applied the Sun Ray Stencil overtop and used the same colours to build up a darker layer of colour. This is one technique where I still love using the regular distress inks more, since it takes A LOT more blending to reach that maximum saturation point.

I die-cut the background from a stitched scallop rectangle and then added a sentiment from All Smiles underneath the "hooray".

Time for some Monochromatic Magic:

I really loved the elegance of the white/light greys in the sample card and wanted to do something similar. I started off with another retired product- Winter Warmth dies (what can I say, I love my old MFT sets and still use them!). I used the floral image and one of the pompom images and embossed these into my white card base. Next I die cut a few layers of "Cheers", with the top layer being cut from a shimmery white/champagne paper. I adhered that to my embossed layer and then added a light grey banner greeting using a sentiment from Happy Hippos. I wanted a little something else on here, so I found some light grey "gems" and added them to the floral elements. They aren't really gems, but they have a nice shine. These are actually the leftover pieces that my friend gave me- she does the diamond paintings and there are lots of leftovers! These felt like the perfect way to tie in the grey word banner and add a little something.

And the final challenge- Awesome Ombre:

This card was a lot of fun to make. I just love how it turned out and will definitely be making more backgrounds like this. I started off with the Cascading Scallop stencil. I adhered it over my white card and blended Distress Oxide inks over top- Twisted Citron, Peacock Feathers, and Mermaid Lagoon. Although I was thinking mermaid tale when I made this, really, it works for any kind of scaly animal

Once I was happy with the blend, I kept the stencil applied and used a Versamark pad directly on top to ensure that embossing powder would stick to the whole thing. I have a really pretty rainbow glittery clear embossing powder so I applied that and the whole card is just so shimmery and pretty!

I chose a banner and a few critters from Friends with Fins to finish it off. I coloured the critters in green, blue and teal tones to match the background.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Camp Create- July 2019

Hi everyone.

Sorry I haven't been updating the blog much lately, I tend to post projects more regularly to my instagram

I try to participate in MFT's Camp Create every summer. I got the challenges all completed this past weekend. I have been trying to be better about using pre-done backgrounds and stamped/cut out images that I've coloured in my spare time, so for many of these, they were more about finding and assembling the pre-done elements. Although some I still modified to better suit my card ideas.

Alright, first up Wonderful Watercolour! 

I ended up doing a bit of resist here too. I started by embossing my greetings from Handwritten Holiday on some watercolour paper. I used gold for the one and platinum for the other.

I was in the mood for jewel tones, so I looked through my mini distress inks and pulled out a few that fit the bill- I used Pine Needles with the gold and Chipped Sapphire, Seedless Preserves, and Aged Mahogany with the platinum

For the watercolouring, I just was careful and freehanded an approximately proportional rectangle over and around the greeting. Once the paint was dry, I dabbed at the embossing to get any remaining wet paint off.

For each card, I added a very subtle metallic mat to coordinate with the embossing powder. These are really quick to complete once you get going and would be a great mass produced  holiday card with minimal effort!

Next Up: Remarkable Resist.
For this one, I started out with the Balloon Strings background stamp. I stamped that onto some white cardstock and embossed it with clear embossing powder. I pulled out some more distress ink minis, but blended with them this time. I used Peacock Feathers, Twisted Citron, Squeeze Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade, Picked Raspberry, and Wilted Violet. 

Once that was done, I thought it would be fun to put this cute dragon from Magical Dragons that I found from my stash (honestly I think I coloured this at least a year ago!) on a frame, but then I was thinking about shaker cards being the next challenge, and decided to take it up a notch and make it s shaker too. I filled it with lots of glitter and sequins. The speech bubble was a die from my stash- either a retired MFT or maybe Mama Elephant- I cannot recall and really, any larger speech bubble die would work for this or you could even free hand it!

Onwards to another shaker card!

 Spectacular Shakers

This card was a bit of a labour of love. I tried a lot of things before getting this version to work. I don't have the MFT soda pop dies, but I do have a Stampin' Up set and the MFT Soda Pop stamps. Initially, I was trying to turn every bottle into a mini shaker, but the logistics were WAY too fussy. I had to hand cut the opening on the bottle, and the frame left was WAY too small to allow for the dimension required to fill it. So... change of plans. I got out my Stitched Rectangle Scalloped Frames and die-cut 5 to stack (yay for no foam tape required here!). I made the whole card front a giant shaker card. I stamped my greeting on this base panel and also sponged various brown inks to give that root beer look. I filled the shaker with brown and copper glitter and sequins. The bottles were die cut out of vellum and I used the fun little star image from the Soda Pop set to jazz up the bottles.

They were looking too plain empty, so I coloured them with a copic marker and added a few little highlights with a white gel pen. The recipient got a huge kick out of it, which really was what it's all about. There's something really magical about shaker cards!

Alright, more than half way complete and now it's time for Sensational Sliders!

I don't have the MFT slider dies, but I do have a Lawn Fawn one, and I'm all about maximizing my supplies and combining brands. I thought the Bitty Bears would make the perfect little surprise pop up scene.

I started with a stenciled cloud background from my stash- this was made using the Cloud Stencil
I got my bears all coloured in and arranged them, leaving the balloon bear to be the one to pop up. Here's the "as it arrives" picture.

And here it is when you pull the slider mechanism. Super fun right?

And another shot of those bears, because come on, total cuteness!!!

Alright, time for the last card for Glitzy Glitter!

I went into my background stash again and found this fun underwater scene that I had made during a recent class I taught. I used the Ray of Light stencil with Distress Oxide inks. I used Cracked Pistachio, Mermaid Lagoon and Blueprint Sketch. In class, we used the ray stencil to add white pigment ink to have lightened rays. However, I wanted to glitter-fy this, so I lined up the stencil with the previous pattern and stamped the Versamark pad directly to the paper. I found some old clear/glitter embossing powder and added that. It's so sparkly and fun! I love it!

I looked through my coloured images stash and found a few of the fish from Gill Friends. I wanted a few more, so I added the green gradient one and the all yellow one. To add a bit more glitter, I brushed over all of the fish with a shimmer pen. The stamped greeting is from that same set. The last touch was adding little clear Nuvo drop bubbles. It's subtle, but adds another fun little pop!

Anyway, that's all for now. I always love playing along with Camp Create. It's fun to challenge yourself to try techniques that are new or that you don't do that much. I seriously cannot recall the last time I made shaker cards and I ended up making two!! Also, I have had the slider/pull tab die set and maybe used it 3 or 4 times, so it was nice to pull it out and remember just how easy it comes together! 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Unicorns & Beer

So I have a bit of a story for this card...

We live close to a local brewery. In the winter, for something different, fun and to encourage Sunday traffic, they put out a "Staff Series Sunday test batch". For much of January to March, each staff member helps to develop a beer flavour. 

We've taken to walking there every Sunday to sample the weekly batch. It's been a fun weekly outing. So today, the beer was designed by the person that works the taproom every Sunday. We also saw that it was her birthday this past week and she had been given a unicorn foil balloon. So... the first challenge became to make a unicorn and beer themed card.

Well, knowing what the challenge at Lawn Fawnatics is this week, I had to wonder... was there any movie, song, or book that fit my card... and I found this song:

I used many Lawn Fawn unicorns for the card, as well as the puffy cloud borders. I used a Simon Says Stamp set called Adult Beverages for the beer bottles and glasses.

Here's my cutesy little scene. I did mostly beer themed unicorns (browns, gold/yellows), but I thought it'd be fun to make a rainbow beer, complete with a rainbow unicorn pouring it out. The sky was completed with Distress Oxides- Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch. I layered up 2 of the puffy cloud borders. The sentiment was stamped on one of the fancy wavy banner dies.

Here's a closer look at a few of the unicorns.

Ink: Tuxedo Black, Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch
Other: Various copics, gel pens

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Altenew Educator Certification Program Level 1 Challenge

Hello everyone!

I hope you're ready for a picture intensive post today! I've been working on my Altenew Educator Level 1 completion.

My challenge was to create a set of 6 encouragement cards featuring 3 components from the classes in Level 1. The challenge was to also include the packaging for this gift set. Each card could vary a bit, but the overall theme should be similar for all of the cards.

When I need to complete a larger project, I really like to jot down ideas, techniques, potential supplies and sketches. I thought I would show a glimpse of my project sheet, since it's a major part of my process.

The class lessons I decided to use in my project were Adding Details to Ink Blending from Easy Ink Blending, Painting from Ink Pads from Irresistible Inking Techniques, and various ideas from Let it Shine (glitter, embellishments, metallic paper.

First, here's a glance at my take on painting with ink pads. Here's a look at my supplies for the watercoloring component. 

I used dye inks (Papertrey Ink ink pads used here, but any dye ink, like Altenew's Crisp inks would work great for this technique) I wanted vibrant, cheerful leaves so I used Green Parakeet, Limeade Ice, Hawaiian Shores, and Tropical Teal. When using ink pads as the source of watercolor "paint", you'll need a palette that you can directly stamp the ink pads onto. I like to use a larger clear block. I also show a fine paint brush here and my stamped image. I stamped the leaves onto a cotton paper using a black archival ink.

Tip: When getting many components ready for a larger project, be sure to do a run through to make sure you are happy with the supplies. The first watercolor paper I chose caused the ink to wick and bleed too much, so I found a different type of watercolor paper in my stash.

I painted several of the larger and smaller leaves from Leaf Canopy using the technique shown in the video so that I could make many different layouts.

Next up, my take on Easy Ink Blending. I loved this class since ink blending is one of my favorite techniques. I loved the idea of taking a regular blended background and adding details to take it to the next level. Instead of using just my blending sponge for the circles, I did a take on a bokeh technique and made my own circle stencils.

Here are the supplies I used for my background blending.
I used Distress Oxides- Ripe Persimmon and Dried Marigold and a white pigment ink (PTI Fresh Snow). I used blender handles and sponges. For the bokeh technique, I used post-it note paper and several circle punches.

Tip: When ink blending, especially when using Distress Oxide inks, be sure to anchor your paper with a scrap piece of paper. This keeps your fingers ink-free and also keeps your project oil free!

For the other backgrounds, I changed up how much of the Dried Marigold and Ripe Persimmon I added. I also changed up the overall pattern of application (blending diagonal lines, smaller clusters, rounded edges, that sort of thing).

Now, here's a look at some of the items I found for my "shine" elements that I used - metallic copper cardstock (used on each card), green rhinestones, clear sequins, copper glitter and Nuvo drops.

Now that I've reviewed how I painted my leaves, how I made my backgrounds and the shine elements, let's get onto the cards! I went with the theme of Encouragement because so many Altenew sets have wonderful words of encouragement.

I wanted all the cards to coordinate, while each still being unique.

The first card uses several of the smaller leaves. I covered much of the background. I cut out 3 of the stamped "Beautiful" from the Simple Flowers set and layered them. The "You're So" was stamped onto black card stock and embossed in white. The additional shine element was a combination of Nuvo drops and glitter. I added the Nuvo drops and used it like regular glue and added the glitter while it was still wet. I did this so my glitter droplets would be slightly raised.


For this card, I thought it would be fun to combine sentiments from a few sets to make a bigger sentiment. I used Crafty Friends and Leaf Canopy. The shine element this time is green rhinestones.


For my next card, I used a sentiment from Adore You. I love this sentiment because it can be used for so much- encouragement (as I've used it here), sympathy, thinking of you, or even a celebration,

My shine elements are once again green rhinestones. However, I also wanted to jazz up the sentiment, so I applied some copper glitter to some cardstock and added that as a thin accent strip


For the next card, I used the same sentiment as above from Adore You, but I decided to build it up by pairing it with this "cheer up" from Painted Greetings. The shine element this time is clear sequins.


 My next card is a slightly different layout from many of the others. I decided to feature only one leaf cluster and place it in the centre. The sentiment is from Adore You and once again I used sequins as my shine element.


For my final card, I wanted some extra dimension. I stamped this sentiment from Leaf Canopy on some white cardstock and adhered that with foam tape. I also popped up all of the leaf images with foam tape. My shine element here is a bit more subtle- I used the clear Nuvo drops. I like that they look like little water droplets.

The final part to my challenge was to present the set of cards in some sort of packaging. I decided to make a simple box with a vellum window. These types of boxes are super easy to make. For the box base, I made it 6-3/4 x 8 and scored each side 1 inch in. I cut slits into the score lines so that I had corner flaps. The lid is made using the same basic premise, except I made it a touch bigger- 6-7/8 x 8-1/8, again scoring each side 1 inch in. I cut out the window using a craft knife. I stamped several of the smaller leaf images from Leaf Canopy with Versamark and embossed it with white embossing powder and adhered the window on the inside of the lid (make sure to make the window panel larger than the window cut out so you have enough of a border to easily add your adhesive)

 Here's a shot from above, I like that you only catch a glimpse of the inside top card. I really like the frosty look the vellum adds. The box colors were chosen to coordinate with the inks I used for the leaf watercoloring.

 Here's a little glimpse inside:

And lastly, when making a set of cards to give away, you need to include envelopes. To make the envelopes just that little bit more special, I stamped the outline leaf on each one. Little details like this really add to the packaged gift feel.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into my process, the videos of my coloring and blending techniques and the projects.

Supplies (affiliate links used when available):
Ink: Jet Black archival ink, Dried Marigold, Ripe Persimmon (Ranger), Fresh Snow, Green Parakeet, Limeade Ice, Hawaiian Shores, Tropical Teal (Papertrey Ink), Versamark
Paper: White, Copper Metallic, Black, Cotton paper, Green Parakeet, Tropical Teal, Vellum