Thursday, December 8, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 8: Wedding Snowglobes!!!

Oh my goodness, friends! Today's card is quite possibly my favorite for this season, and is a very special card for my friends who just got hitched!!

I knew I would be making this awesome couple a card, and decided to head straight to Paper Source to buy a stamp I'd been eyeing for quite some time! This fantastic scripted Mr & Mr stamp is one of my favorites from Paper Source both because it is beautiful, and because it speaks to their support of the LGBTQ community. I've appreciated this so much about the company, and love that their support feels genuine and authentic, and not just another marketing ploy to get more money from another niche audience.

I wanted to make these fantastic gentlemen a somewhat rustic card, and opted for a buffalo check background, made with the Lawn Fawn Gingham Backdrops stamp set using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink over a Paper Source Red piece of cardstock cut to 3.75x5.5 inches. I mounted the background to my Paper Source A2 Paperbag folded card base, leaving the 1/4 inch strips on the left and right of the panel.

Once I'd decided on the use of the Mr & Mr stamp and the buffalo check, I wanted to find something Christmasy to class up the card so it was appropriate for both a congrats wedding card and a Christmas card - which brought me to the BEAUTIFUL snowglobe from Stampin' Up's Sparkly Seasons!

I stamped the base of the snowglobe with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink on a scrap of Paper Source Superfine White paper, and fussy-cut it out. I used Moonlight Gel Pens for the holly and berries, a white ball-point pen for the year, and a gold pen for the branches, which helped soften the base of the snowglobe, and make it look less blocky.

For the globe itself, I diecut a circle from vellum, and positioned it where I wanted it on my card, to determine placement of the snow stamp from the Sparkly Seasons set with my MISTI tool. Once I'd positioned the stamp, I stamped it directly over the buffalo check panel where the globe would sit, using Frost White Pigment Ink. I then moved the panel off the MISTI and stamped the snow again directly on the vellum circle. This way, when I mounted the globe over the buffalo check, it adds two layers of snow that are facing each other, which gives more snow and more dimension to the finished image. Because the frost white was a very wet pigment ink, I ran the heat tool over the vellum carefully to help it dry without warping the vellum, and over the buffalo check background.

Once the snow was dry enough on my vellum circle, I flipped it upside-down and stamped the Mr & Mr stamp with a clear VersaMark ink pad, and then added copper embossing powder and heat-embossed the sentiment. I then mounted all of the pieces to my card using my tape runner delicately around the outside edge of the snowglobe vellum piece.

On the inside of the card, I stamped this beautiful scripted Merry Christmas sentiment from Paper Source's 2016 Christmas line. I'm still SOOOO happy with this card, and can't wait to hear their reaction!!

We also went to a wedding of another couple this past weekend, and I wanted to use the snowglobe again since it's a December wedding! I don't own the Mr & Mrs stamp from Paper Source with the same scripted font, so I couldn't stamp a sentiment that would make sense for this couple directly on the vellum, so I had to change it up a bit. I followed a similar process for preparing the snow globe base and the snow on the inside of the vellum and the outside of the card base, once again creating two layers of snow here - but the snow this time was with silver pigment ink. I also stamped some tiny hearts from the Lawn Fawn Party Animal set with a bright pink pigment ink. I initially finished this card with a scripty Congratulations sentiment from Paper Source, heat embossed with copper powder, but then wasn't completely satisfied. Because there wasn't a sentiment on this snow globe, it felt like it was missing something inside. I carefully peeled up the globe and added in five die cut hearts that I'd previously die cut with coordinating Lawn Cuts dies from You're Stinkin' Cute and Stuck On You. I added some pink watercolor to it via watercolor pencils, and then carefully adhered the snowglobe again. This helped finish off the card.

I'm still not sure if I like the card better with or without the larger hearts inside, but I'm definitely happy I could use Christmas-y themed fun with these wedding cards!

Well, friends, that wraps up my 8 Days of Holiday Cards for 2016! I hope this gave you some fun inspiration for your holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 7.1 - Another Inky Sky Background!

Okay y'all, I must admit I had so much fun with the Winter Owl, but wasn't as pleased with my sky as I would have liked, so I gave it a second go. I followed the same process for making the Leafy Tree Backdrop and Stitched Hillside scene, but this time decided to color in my lights on the tree with only red and 'white' (which was actually white mixed with yellow), colored in with watercolor pencils, and finished with adding some glitter with a clear glitter pen on top for some shine and sparkle! :)

The background on my previous card had a more even green ombre tone to it, which was nice but didn't look as much like the sky as I wanted it to. This time, I decided to use some purple and blue distress inks blended along the card base, and added the additional step of letting some water droplets (sprayed from a spray bottle) sit on the inks for a bit, then dabbing off the water with a paper towel. I LOVE this technique, as it lifts color from the areas that were wet, giving more dimension to the sky! I finished the sky by stamping the snow from the Snow Cool set with the MISTI tool, using Frost White Pigment Ink and stamping it twice to get my desired look. I added the Santa (made from Gnome Sweet Gnome and Hats Off to You) holding his latte (a clear favorite of mine, from Love You a Latte!) with foam squares for dimension, and was finished with the card, lickety-split! :)

I opted not to use a sentiment on the outside of the card, and used the Warm Wishes from the Love You a Latte set on the inside (but forgot to document with photo evidence!).

I prefer this one to the Winter Owl because there's more contrast in the background and more interest with the water droplet technique, and I loved the red and white lights instead of full color. Both will be sent, though - so that's good! :)

This post is being submitted into the Lawnscaping Challenge #143: Let it Snow!

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 7: Christmas lights and inky sky

For today's card, I wanted to create a vibrant sky background, and have the rest of the card be white so the background really pops. I started by preparing the Leafy Tree Backdrop and Stitched Hillside. I have a bunch of 12x12 patterned paper packs that are one-sided, with patterns I don't really plan to ever use, so I actually cut these large papers down so they could go through my Evolution tool and could be used with die cuts, using the opposite side. I wanted them to be bright white, and the non-patterned side was perfect!

In Colorado where I grew up (and still consider my home), people often wrap the beautiful white aspen tree trunks with lights, so I wanted to create a similar effect here, only wrapping the base of these trees. To create the strings of lights, I stamped the lights from the Lawn Fawn Happy Howlidays set on watercolor paper, and cut them out using the coordinating Lawn Cuts. I liked that the die-cut lights had a slightly different white than the tree, as it helped them stand out a bit more. Because these lights are setup for going around the dog images from the set, I cut them apart into two-light strands and three-light strands, so they'd look more natural going around the base of the trees. I ran them through my mini xyron machine to add the adhesive, which is the perfect tool for adding adhesive to small and complicated die cut images. Once I had the trees wrapped, I colored in the lights using distress inks and water. This helped me ensure I had a relatively even distribution of color, and didn't end up with multiple lights of the same color too close together.

On the cover of my Paper Source A2 Superfine White folded card, I used a blending tool to add distress inks, starting from the top with evergreen bough, and blending it down the page, before adding in cracked pistachio and blending down further along the page. I also added Pine Needles ink towards the top of the page, and a little of the  I decided on the background colors by coordinating them with the scarf I used on the Lawn Fawn Winter Owl die-cut image. I kept positioning my card elements on top of the distress ink background in order to determine how much more I needed to add/how far down I wanted the ink to go on the page, which proved to be important and helpful!

Once I was satisfied with the color of the background, I finished it by stamping the falling snow from the Lawn Fawn Snow Cool set with Frost White pigment ink. I added this using the MISTI tool, which allowed me to double-stamp the snow in order to get the look I wanted. I then adhered the hillside and the tree to the card base with my tape runner, stamped the sentiment with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, and finished the card by attaching my owl with foam squares for dimension.

This post is being submitted into the Lawnscaping Challenge #143: Let it Snow!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 6 - Happy Howlidays

Today, I'm showcasing a set of cards I made with my favorite new stamp set of 2016 - Lawn Fawn's Happy Howlidays exclusive set made for Simon Says Stamp's Stamptember event! Since Penny Hartz joined our family in January, we've been in need of a stamp set that looks like our puppygirl, and we found this one to be close enough to the whippet/terrier mix who has stolen our hearts!When my Stamptember happy mail arrived, I immediately went to town stamping a ton of all of the images from the set on watercolor paper, and coloring them in with watercolor pencils and distress inks until I found the blend that seemed to look close enough to Penny's coloring. I die-cut all of the images with the coordinating Lawn Cuts, and have been getting a lot of use out of them, from slider cards I copied from a sample provided on the Lawn Fawn blog to introduce the set, to fun groupings of dogs celebrating the holidays together, to this super fun set of four cards that also allowed me to use the beautiful Perfectly Plaid Christmas papers. So fun!
For this series, I cut and mounted a piece of the Perfectly Plaid paper down to 4x5.25 inches, and mounted them to Paper Source A2 Paperbag Folded Cards. I blended blue distress ink over a piece of Paper Source Superfine White paper, and added stitched hillsides that I'd cut from the same paper with the Lawn Fawn Stitched Hillside Border dies. Once I'd added the hillsides with my tape runner to the white paper, I used a circle die over the whole piece (the blue background with the hillside attached), which gave me my circles.I then positioned my scenes to determine placement of my sentiments, and used my MISTI stamping tool to stamp the sentiments onto the circles (or onto the perfectly plaid paper, depending on the card). I adhered all of the elements together with tape runner, and my cards were complete! My favorite card was of the puppy carrying the box of lights. I decided to use the Deck the Halls sentiment on this card instead of one from the Happy Howlidays set, since Penny is preparing to deck the halls in this scene. :) 

The slider cards I made with this set (totally copied from Lawn Fawn's own Kelly!) ended up being super fun, too! :)  Since they're heavier and thicker, they will be hand-delivered. I used papers from Let's Bokeh here, and various Paper Source paper colors for these cards, and am super happy with the results.

Monday, December 5, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 5: Oh Joy Ornament cut-out & tags!

Welcome back! We're five days into my 8 Days of Holiday Cards series, and I'm feeling overwhelmed with how much I have left to do in preparation for Christmas! I just purchased Christmas-themed stamps for our holiday cards, and my husband printed our photo inserts with the 2016 overview (our first year of marriage!), and have a LOT of envelope addressing to do tonight!

For today's card, I used the GORGEOUS Mama Elephant Twinkle Towns set, and was SO excited to get both holiday cards AND gift tags out of this one project! I'm providing more photos of the process since it's a bit more complicated and I found a way to create that card that works well, so I wanted to share my process in hopes of helping others! :)

I wanted to have a window in this card that would peek through to the ornament and sentiment on the inside of the card, AND would fit in seamlessly for the front of the card. I figured out how to do this in a way that made it easiest to mass produce, and I made ten total! I used Paper Source A2 Superfine White folded cards for this project.

I started by laying out my scene with the clear stamps on the card front, to determine where I would want my ornament window. I wanted to ensure that the branch extended off the page, and that the ornament would be close enough to the branch that when I added the 'string' it wouldn't hang down too low. Once I determined the appropriate placement for the ornament, I setup the cling stamp on my MISTI tool and stamped the image of the ornament on the card front for all ten cards, using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink. I left the ornament outline stamp in place on the MISTI during the next step, so I could use it again and ensure identical placement of the ornament on the inside of my card after the next step of die-cutting.

My next step was to use the coordinating die to cut out the ornament from the card front to create my window. The image on the left shows the way I ran the card through my evolution die cut tool - it's very important to do this with the card completely open, otherwise you'll end up with a window that goes through the WHOLE card! :) These die-cut ornaments will be used later as gift tags, so I set them aside for now!

Once I'd cut out my windows, I brought the cards back to my MISTI tool, and with them folded shut, I stamped the ornament again. The magnets on the MISTI held the card shut, which ensured that my ornament was stamped through the window perfectly. Once all ten cards were stamped with the ornament on the inside of the card following this process, I left the 10th card in place. I used the window of this card to position and stamp the back side of my gift tags with the ornament outline stamp, which allowed me to have a double-sided gift tag. SO EASY!! You can see the placement of my ornament gift tag in the window in the image on the right. Because the center of the ornament outline stamp is empty, I was able to use the MISTI magnet to hold the ornament in place.

Next, I finished the scene on the front of the card using the MISTI tool once again for perfect placement. With the card still shut on the MISTI tool, I stamped the green needles stamp first and heat-embossed them with clear embossing powder to give them dimension. After completing all ten, I moved on to the brown branch, which I didn't want to heat emboss since I wanted the needles to stand out more. Again, I repeated this process with all ten cards before moving on to my next step.

With the card still shut, I stamped the oh joy sentiment through the window onto the ornament, using the Hero Arts neon ombre ink pad. I decided to go with the vibrant pink-to-purple ombre, as it really popped with the rest of the card!

My last step for the card was to stamp on the string that hangs the ornament from the tree. The Mama Elephant set comes with a solid line string, but I wanted something slightly longer and with a bit more whimsy, so I used the dotted line stamp from Lawn Fawn's Deck the Halls set. Because this dotted line was longer than the length I needed, I opened up the card on my MISTI tool once again for this final step, so that the extra length of the string would stamp on the paper in the MISTI tool and not on the ornament inside my card. You can see the setup for this on the left.

Now that my cards were complete, I decided to add some of the other Twinkle Town elements to one side of each of my gift tags. Keeping one card in the MISTI tool, I was able to do the same window placement trick for this stamping to ensure proper placement. I used the ombre ink pad again for the oh joy sentiment on some of the tags, and used another Hero Arts ombre pad in blue for the NYC scene inside a few of the other tags, and plan to use these tags together for some gifts for my husband and our two close friends who LOVE NYC and travel there often. :) On the remaining tags, I stamped the little town from the set with the same green from the pine needles, and will use these on another set of gifts for my family.

Below, you can see the finished card in both a propped open fashion and completely shut, to illustrate the window effect.

I know this was a long post, but the process for making this card took less time than it seems! I loved that it ended with me having some ready-made gift tags, too, with just a few simple extra steps! The MISTI is my absolute FAVORITE tool right now, and I'm so happy with the perfect placement help, and with it's uses for windows and layered stamps like Mama Elephant's Twinkle Towns!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! Day 4: Santa's Cheers

Welcome Back! Today, I have a fun new technique to EASILY ground your stamped and die-cut images, without having to make an elaborate scene!

When I get new sets, I often search through Pinterest, Lawn Fawn's blog, Flickr groups, Lawnscaping's blog, etc., to find fun ideas for using each set. I'll also stamp and die-cut multiple images, so I have them ready to go when making cards later. I followed this same process with the Hats Off to You and Gnome Sweet Gnome sets, ultimately planning on pairing a santa hat on the gnome to make him Jolly Old St. Nicholas, and, of course, giving him a giant latte to prepare him for his Christmas Eve shenanigans! :) I had a large number of these Santas ready to go, without an idea of what the scene should look like, and then I found an awesome card from another Lawn Fawn fanatic, using a simple technique that I knew would work perfectly with this card!

For the background of this card, I simply used a strip of post-it note tape across the card, and blended Distress Ink with an ink blender up from the post-it note tape line. This makes the line darker closer to the tape line, and lighter as you go up so it eventually fades into the card, giving the impression of a wall behind the die-cut image and a floor below. SUPER SIMPLE, y'all - and makes for a stunning pop of color! I stamped the sentiment with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, being careful to place it above where the latte would end up so that it has the steam effect. I finished the card by mounting the die cut images with foam squares.

I liked the end result a lot and repeated it for a few cards, but wanted to change it up a bit and use the Cheers sentiment from the Let's Bokeh set. I find that I use the individual words in this set all the time for all different types of projects, and I love the scripted font for the Cheers sentiment specifically. Because it doesn't have the same steam-like effect of the other sentiment, I decided to use it below the images on these additional cards. I was definitely pleased with the results!

Because I loved this ink blended background technique so much, I decided to try it again with another card, and reverse the direction of the blending so it went down instead of up. I used some fun pups from the Lawn Fawn Happy Howlidays limited edition Stamptember set made for Simon Says Stamp, which happen to look like our dog, Penny. :) All of the images in the card below were stamped on watercolor paper and colored with either watercolor pencils or watercolor distress ink. The Santa Paws part of the sentiment was stamped first with red ink, but I didn't like it as much and decided to stamp over it with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink afterward, which unintentionally created the halo effect, so I just went with it. :) All of the cards shown today were on A2 Paper Source Superfine White folded cards.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! - Day 3: Ombre Lights!

Welcome back! For day 3 of my 8 Days of Holiday Cards series, I'm sharing two different techniques for stamping ombre images.

I learned the first technique from the incomparable Jennifer McGuire. I find that I learn so much from her video tutorials, and am always impressed with her super crisp, clean, and professional finished products!

For both cards, I used the Reverse Confetti Merry & Bright stamp set. For the first card, I cut a 3.75x5.5 inch panel from Paper Source Superfine White coverweight paper for the main image, and cut and scored a piece of Paper Source Black Coverweight paper. I love Paper Source's papers, but sometimes want to have a vertical fold card, so I make my own by cutting an 8.5x11 inch sheet in half lengthwise, making a 4.25x11 inch sheet, and then scoring at the 5.5 inch halfway point for the fold. I then got to stamping with my MISTI tool - seriously, the BEST crafting purchase I've ever made!

For this first card, I found three die inks that coordinate well together (My red die ink came in a set with stamp carving tools from Yellow Owl Workshop, the blue die ink is the Lawn Fawn Fish Tank ink pad, and the green is the Hero Arts Neon Green ink pad)., and found my ColorBox Frost White Pigment Ink as well. I positioned my clear stamps on the MISTI tool lid, and positioned the paper where I wanted it, securing it with the MISTI magnets, and then started my stamping!

To create the ombre effect, start by stamping the entire image with your one color. Then, ink up just a portion of the stamp with that same color (in this case, I inked up a little more than the tip at a diagonal of each light bulbs). Before stamping it again, I took a paper towel and lightly tapped/rubbed it along the diagonal line made from the ink on the stamp, in order to make less of a harsh line when it is stamped again. Once you have the ink where you want it, you then stamp again in exactly the same spot. This is where the MISTI is a life safer! By keeping the stamps and paper in position, you get a perfect image each time! :) You can repeat this process multiple times to get the desired look you're wanting to achieve. Essentially, every time you add more ink to the stamp, it darkens that part of your final product, creating that ombre effect.

Set these panels aside to dry (in my case, I sped up that process using my heat tool to help the ink dry faster). Once dry, reposition the panel on the MISTI again. This time, ink up the opposite side of your stamp (in this case, the larger part of the lightbulbs) with the white pigment ink, and use the paper towel to soften the edge again. Then, stamp it on top of your original image, and repeat if necessary. This helps lighten the area opposite your darkened area from the previous stamping, finishing the ombre effect.

After the lightbulbs had dried, I used VersaMark Ink to stamp the lightbulb base, and embossed them with silver embossing powder. I finished the card off by adhering the panel to the card base with my tape runner (and now that I'm looking at them again, am debating adding in strings to the top of the bulbs to make them look like they're hanging down, and not floating...).

For my second card, I used three ombre ink pads from Hero Arts, which made the process go much more quickly. :) These were stamped directly onto the A2 Paper Source Superfine White folded card, which also reduced the additional steps of making my own folded card and panel. I also drew in a string to connect the three bulbs so they look like a string of lights. Both processes ended up making fun results, and I appreciate that I've learned how to make an ombre effect without using ombre ink pads.

I'll be back again tomorrow with another holiday card. :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! - Day 2: Buffalo Check Watercolor

For Day 2 of my 8 Days of Holiday Cards, I'm sharing a buffalo check-inspired card! I masked a rectangle on my A2 Paper Source Superfine White Folded Notecard using post-it note tape, and painted in the watercolor lines for the Buffalo Check background with a wide brush. I die-cut a Tag, You're It gift tag using the Lawn Fawn die, and added a Paper Source Superfine Soft White ribbon to the end. Using Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, I stamped the mug and sentiment from Lawn Fawn's Love You a Latte set, then colored it in with Prismacolor colored pencils. I mounted this to my card with foam squares, and was done! SUPER fast and simple, and very easy to replicate!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

8 Days of Holiday Cards! - Day 1: Yeti It's Cold Outside

December 1st is finally here, and I'm excited to share some of my 2016 holiday card designs! Each year, I begin making my cards in July (to celebrate Christmas in July, obviously!). I typically start with taking inspiration from some fantastic ideas I've found online from others who have the same or similar papercrafting supplies, and then as I play with my supplies, find my own creations. The cards I'll be showcasing are more from my own designs and imagination. :)

My first card to share made use of the Lawn Fawn Yeti Set Snow set. I'd wanted the set for a few years, and finally got around to buying it this past year, with plans to use it for my holiday cards.

I started by making the scene you'd see through the round 'window', beginning with the Forest Border panel on Paper Source Superfine White cardstock and layering it on top of the Stitched Hillside Border panel (with Paper Source Paper Bag cardstock for the mountains and the same Paper Source Superfine White  for the snowcaps), and adding the light blue plaid from the 6x6 Lawn Fawn Perfectly Plaid Summer pack for the sky. I also ran a piece of Paper Source Spruce coverweight paper through my Evolution die cut machine to make the stitched circle frame for my round window border. After adhering the panels for my scene together with my tape runner, I ran them through my diecut machine with a circle die that matched the same size as my stitched circle frame die. I finished the window by adding the stitched circle frame on top.

On another piece of Paper Source Pure White coverweight paper, I stamped the yeti and his ear muffs/headphones with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, then colored him in with colored pencils and used the coordinating Lawn Cuts dies to cut him out. I laid all of my elements on my card front to determine my preferred placement, and then stamped the music notes and the sentiment directly onto the Paper Source Superfine White A2 Folded Notecard. I scattered some foam squares around the back of my window scene, and adhered it to the front of the card. I then used my tape runner to adhere the yeti, making sure to tuck him in behind the window so he's popping out.

I wanted another sentiment inside, and wanted to use my Lawn Fawn Love You a Latte set (since it's clearly my favorite...), so I stamped the hot chocolate mug, the happy holidays sentiment, and the mustachioed face with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink on the inside. I figured the round window could be in the kitchen, and the recipient of my card could be enjoying some hot cocoa while looking outside - completely unaware of the yeti in the distance. :)

Join me tomorrow for another card!