Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Red Hot Teddies with Gold Leaf

Ah, Valentines - the day we celebrate love. And who could me more in love than these two cuties? This is the QKR Stampede image Bear Hugs and the Sentiment is from the Best Wishes Werdz Set. What really sets this particular card apart is the Gold Foil detail, and you can order Gold Leaf in several colors.

It's Technique and Tutorial Day for QKR and Eureka, and I decided to give the Gold Leaf a try for my post. I've never bought Gold Leaf before because I've always heard it was really fussy and hard to work with. The truth is that crafters won't have any problem handling this beautiful product.
I used Cricut's Plantin cartridge to cut a heart from the backing of a pad of paper because I didn't have chipboard heart in my stash. Then I placed the heart on a piece of Scor-Tape and trimmed around the edges with non-stick scissors, keeping a small border of tape (just enough to cover the cut edge of my heart). When that was done, I flipped the heart over onto a scrap sheet of paper and peeled off the backing.
I opened the bag of gold leaf, and that's when the fun began! Beautiful pieces of varigated colored red and pink gold leaf just waited to be taken out of the bag. I carefully lifted out a small piece, carefully applied it to the sticky heart and just as carefully smoothed it out as best as I could. So far, so good, and so very pretty! In no time I relaxed and picked up the pace. I found I didn't have to be too fussy about covering the entire area because, when I picked up my brush and started removing any excess pieces of foil, they naturally stuck to any areas that weren't already foiled. There was very little waste, but you could return any crumbs to the bag. I was surprised at the very generous amount of gold leaf in the bag.

Well, covering the heart was so much fun, I decided to run a strip of 1/2 inch Scor-Tape across my 5 1/2 inch designer paper and foil that, too.

At this point I cut a label with a Spellbinder, stamped and heat embossed my sentiment, and adhered that to the upper corner. I cut a piece of red cardstock at 5 3/8 inches, and a base card at 5 3/4 inches from white Stardream Metallic cardstock. All the layers were then adhered.

I colored the fur of my bear couple with Copics. After allowing them to dry, I moistened a scrap of old washcloth with Blender Solution and dabbed the bear bodies to create the look of fur. When that dried, I colored their clothes and patches, and adhered the bears to the font of the card with pop dots. Adhering the foiled the heart was all that was left to complete the project.

Unfortunately, as you can see below, The Boss was not impressed with how much time I spent creating this card. She placed her body strategically between me and my supplies - a strong signal that NOW would be good time to pay attention to the cat.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sparkly Pink Heart

I'm a girly girl - I admit it. I love anything pink, sparkly and romantic. So this card just makes me smile, inside and out. The inspiration for this card comes from one of my favorite artists, Kittie, who creates intricate, one color designs like no one else. The impetus for this particular card is the monthly Oozak Challenge with the theme, "Anything Goes With Pink". Here's how it came together...

This card goes to prove that the best things are created by collaboration - lol. I have blended dies from My Favorite Things (flowers), Spellbinders (square and leaves), Cheery Lynn (flourish) and Memory Box (heart). Once all those things were cut from Stampin Up paper, I sponged some of the edges with Distress Ink in Worn Lipstick and decorated some with micro-fine glitter. I cut my base card at 5 3/4 inches. I also cut a square at 5 1/2 inches and stamped it in Distress with Impression Obsessions Cover-A-Card Flourishes. All the pieces were adhered. After I added three crystals, I couldn't come up with any more ideas to add sparkle and bling, so I called it done!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Bodacious Backgrounds

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means - time for the Eureka Stamps and QKR Stampede Techniques and Tutorial Team to step up to the plate.

I'm here today with a tutorial on background stamps. I love me a good background stamp cause you can always create designer paper (DP) in colors that match your project, even if you don't have a store-bought paper that works. I particularly love Eureka background stamps because you can often match up background images with focal images. Check out the project  below.

This card features Eureka's Filigree Background 39201 and Large Filigree Heart 24601. See what I mean by matching background and focal images?

Let me show you how his card came together. First of all, cut a base card from Stardream metallic cardstock at 5 1/2 by 7 1/2 inches - yup, that's a pretty large card. I like Stardream because it's substantial enough to hold up to the weight of multiple layers without sagging when you try to display the card.

I selected a piece of smooth, cream card, just a bit larger than the finished size I had in mind. After inking up my background stamp with black VersaFine ink, I stamped it off on a piece of scrap paper (to give a lighter colored impression) before stamping on the right of my cardstock. I try to line up my stamp with the paper keeping in mind where the actual image begins so I can place the second image pretty much in line with the first. And I repeated that whole process on the left. You can see the fine line between my two impressions. I try to do better than that but, in this case, that was good enough due to the card design I had in mind.

As you can see in the photo above, I cut a piece of Recollection metallic cardstock in a gunetal grey and decorated the bottom edge with Spellbinders Classic Edges 2. I then cut a 2 1/2 inch strip of the gunmetal paper the width of my cream background. I cut the scalloped border with the Spellbinder, and embossed the whole piece with a Cuttlebug Hearts folder. All layers were then adhered.

Another piece of the cream cardstock was stamped three times with the focal image, twice in Distress Worn Lipstick and heat embossed, and once in Distress Festive Berries and heat embossed with a sparkle powder.

I wanted to pop up my focal images so, as you can see in these two photos (above), I cut a heart with my Cricut from scrap card and traced a heart shape around my focal images then hand cut them.

I adhered the darker heart to a piece of the gunmetal card and hand cut around it to create a small border.

The two pink hearts were adhered to the card, and I used pop dots to attach the middle heart. A bit of ribbon and along with Liquid Pearl and glitter glue dots completed the project.

* * *

Above is another project using the same background technique. This card measures 6" square. For this project, I used Eureka's Heart Background 57901Love Potion Bottle 35802 and, for the inside, Cascading Hearts 14707

Below, you can see how the background and inside images looked.

That wraps up today's tutorial. As always, I look forward to your comments.

Don't forget to scope out what my Techniques and Tutorial partner, Joann, aka Sassy Raggedy has presented today on the QKR Stampede Blog, and what else is in store for you (besides me) at Eureka Stamps Blog. See you for another Technique next Wednesday!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Card Making Basics - Choosing Image, Paper, Color and Embellishments

Hello! It's Wednesday and so it's time for a new Technique and Tutorial post. 

I'm sharing a Valentine today and continuing the Basic Card Making tutorial introduced last week by my T&T partner, Joann. Last week in Part 1, Joann outlined how to make a basic card. If you are new to card making, you might wonder what to do next. Here in Part 2 of Basic Card Making, I'll share some ideas on how to proceed with choosing your image, paper, color and embellishments. There are no hard and fast rules about how to proceed with your choices and beauty is, after all, in the eye of beholder. So choose what is pleasing to you and just have fun.

Consider Purpose and Person
The first step is to think about why you are creating a card and, especially, the preferences of the person who will be receiving your card. What colors do they like? Do they seem to favour a victorian kind of style or are they more contemporary? Are they more likely to appreciate hearts and flowers, or would they get a kick out of a humorous card? Today, I want to create a Valentine and, as it's for this blog and not any one person, any style would be appropriate. I fell in love with Eureka's Digi 1001 Heart Flowers in a Frame and Digi1101 Be My Valentine.

Prepare Image
Now you want to stamp or print your image. There are so many different products and methods that take stamping to a true art, but today - since we are thinking about a basic card - let's stamp or print in basic black. As our tutorials roll out, you will see many, many different ways to stamp and color an image.

You want to stamp or print on papers that work well with the coloring medium you prefer. Or you could choose to place your image on colored paper and not do any additional coloring at all. This particular image would look spectacular done with VersaMark and Heat Embossing Powders on a colored paper.

I love, love, love my Copics markers and wanted to use them with these beautiful Valentine images, so I printed my image on X-Press It Blending card. One of the advantages to working with digi images is that you can size them to fit your project, so I have chosen to size my focal image to 5 x 6 inches which will take up most of the space on my card base which is 5 1/4 x 7 1/4 inches.

Choose Designer Paper
Generally, card makers will choose some kind of beautiful paper (I'll refer to this as Designer Paper or DP) to layer between their card base and their focal image. Again, think of your recipient and choose a DP that might be pleasing to them.

Also keep in mind the style of your focal image. Working with such a large and intricate focal, I wanted to pick a DP that would compliment and not compete with my image.

Select a designer paper that will work with the colors you had in mind for your focal image. I knew I wanted to color my image with pink, purple and red, so I needed a DP to look good with those colors. I narrowed my choices down to a glitter paper and a pearalized paper, both in solid colors.

Color and Trim the Image
Now that you have your DP chosen, it's safe to go ahead and color your image. You could color your image and then try to pick a paper, but it might be harder to get a good match that way and you may end up having to color a second image. Next, trim away any excess paper around your image and adhere it onto your DP. After placing the colored image on both DP I was considering, I went with the red sparkle.

Consider Embellishments
The final touch to a beautiful project is that one bit of embellishment which takes your card from good to great. The choices for embellishments are absolutely unlimited and include ribbon, flowers, glitter, brads, pearls, crystals, chipboard, stickers and on and on. Sometimes it takes a while to decide what that final touch should be. I'm from the "less is more" school, especially with such a detailed image - but that's just me. Lay out some of the items you have in your stash, and choose what looks good to you. If you're not sure, walk away, have a coffee and come back later. In the following photos, you can see some of the options I considered.


You can see better in some photos that I added dots of liquid pearls and glitter to the image itself, along with ribbon and three brads at the top of the card. You can also see in the photo below that I didn't need fancy Copic techniques here - just a layer of color that you could do with any type of marker or crayon.

Inside the Card
The inside of a card provides another great place to personalize your project. I try to choose an image or sentiment that matches the style of my card front, and I try to use some of the same materials.

I'd love to receive your comments or questions on our tutorials. Let me know what you think or what you'd like to see!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Eureka and QKR Technique and Tutorial Team - Mica Powders - Take 2

Mica Watercoloring

I'm here today with more ideas for the amazing possibilities of Mica Powders. At the end of my inaugural project for the Eureka Stamps and QKR Stampede Techniques and Tutorial Team, I teased you with this beautiful image. It features my favorite mica technique - Water Coloring! It's my favorite because it's so much fun and the results, as you can see here, are fabulous! For this project, I used 1/4 sheet of black Recollections cardstock from Michaels, Eurkea's Partridge in a Pear stamp, and the Jewel mica powder collection for this project. You might remember me saying that Partridge is a big stamp, approximately 4 x 4.75 inches, so it makes a great focal image.
Here's what you do to create this kind of look...
  • Ink your stamp well with VersaMark and press firmly onto black cardstock;
  • Heat emboss with gold powder; 
  • Take an artists pallette and add to each compartment 1 part Mica powder, 1 part Binding Powder and 1 parts water. I used 1/8 tsp. mica, 1/8 tsp. binder and 1/4 tsp. water. Mix each well.
  • Using fine paint brushes, dip into your desired pot of color and apply to various areas in the image. For more intense color, apply a second coat after the first has dried. (Note: If you wish, you can allow your pots of mica paint to completely dry out. Simply reconstitute with a bit of water, or stroke across the dried paint with a wet brush.)
  •  To finish this card, I simply trimmed the image panel and adhered it to my green card base. A tiny bow completed the picture.
Mica Powders with Embossing Powder
The beautiful project below was just so easy with mica power from the Jewel collection.
Here's how to proceed...
  • Simply mix a small amount of mica powder with an equal amount of clear embossing powder.
  • Ink your stamp with VersaMark and apply to black paper;
  • Sprinkle over with the mixed powders, tap off excess;
  • Heat;
  • Dust with a dry Swiffer cloth to remove any stray mica powder.
 Here's how the image looked before heating - quite a change in color.
To finish the card, I cut and embossed a piece of the base cardstock, and adhered it to a strip of the black card. A couple of crystals just gave it a bit more sparkle.
Mica Over Sticky Powder

OK, maybe this was my favourite mica technique - I mean look how pretty this is!
To proceed...
  • Stamp your image with VersaMark on black paper.
  • Sprinkle over Sticky Powder  
  • Heat the powder till it turns from white to shiny – no longer! 
  • Gently brush mica powder over with a soft brush. Here I’ve used the Metallic collection in a diagonal pattern;
  • Tap off excess and remove any last traces with a Swiffer cloth.
 Below, you can see my project as it proceeding from being sprinkled with sticky powder, to brushed with mica
To finish the card...
Trim the image and adhere it to a slightly larger piece of colored cardstock. Then adhere to a 5 ¾ inch card base. I have used Stardream Metallics for the base, and DCWV Shimmer Paper for the color. Punch a few pine boughs and adhere along with some berries made of shimmery self-adhesive dots. 

Before you log out today, be sure to pop over to the QKR Stampede Blog to see today's Tutorial about the Basics of Card Making posted by my Technique and Tutorial team-mate, Sassy Raggedy.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Two Hearts

We had joyous news over the holidays - my nephew and the son of dear friends both announced their engagements to long-time girlfriends. How exciting! I wanted to create cards for these two couples which would capture their joy and our delight. The style needed to appeal to the young people, so I went for a clean and simple style that still had lots of interest.

The cardstock for the front of this project is a heavy, creamy card with a velvety finish. It was cut at 5 1/2 inches. I don't know the name of this card as it was included in a box of samples. The base card is cut at 5 3/4 inches from Stardream Metallic cardstock.

The solid heart on this card was cut with Cricut's Plantin cartridge at 4 inches and embossed with Sissix's Stripes. The intricate heart was cut with Memory Box's LaRue Heart, which was then adhered to another piece of card just to give it stability as I planned to use pop dots to raise it up a bit. I then trimmed around the die cut heart. The 2 1/2 strip with embossed with Cuttlebug's Swiss Dots. Then all edges and some of the detail were sponged with Distress Ink Tea Dye. The layers were adhered with Scor-Tape and Pop Dots.

The Stampin Up "Love" was stamped in VersaMark and heat embossed in copper. A few dots of copper Liquid Pearls wrapped it up.

This card will be entered in the The Paper Players challenge - Love is in the Air.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Calla Lillies with I.O.

Yes, it's been a while since I last posted - holidays and all. Then I spent a few days going through every cupboard, shelf and drawer in my craft room with the goal of re-organizing and culling things that I don't use anymore. DH manhandled out an old TV which left with me more desk top to spread out my tools. It felt so good to clean and organize. One day, I'll post some of the organization ideas that make my life easier.

Over the holidays, I received some new toys by Impression Obsession and I couldn't wait to play with them. IO has a line called Cover-a-Card which features background stamps sized to cover your whole card. When you layer these stamped images with others in different colors, the combinations are limitless. Just think - you'll always have what you need to create patterned papers in exactly the right colors!

For this background I used the Lines stamp with Distress Ink in Frayed Burlap, then the Scratches stamp in Tattered Rose, then the Flourishes stamp in Bundled Sage. Here's a peak at what the background looked like as I played with color combinations. I decided to off-stamp the green layer just to lighten it up a bit for my card.

Once I had my background done, I stamped the IO Calla Lillies in Memento Rich Cocoa and heat embossed with clear powder. I cut the image out with a Spellbinder and sponged more Tattered Rose around the edge. I water colored the blooms and leaves with a water brush and Distress Ink re-inkers in the same colors, plus a touch of Scattered Straw.

I framed the sentiment with a Spellbinders Fancy Framed Tags Two and layered it over a small piece of green ribbon. Dots of Liquid Pearls complete the picture.

This card will be entered in the Your Choice challenge at Impression Obsession.