Friday, August 26, 2016

Bird on a Sign

It has been a long time since I played along with a challenge over at Splitcoaststampers, but it's really fun for me when I do. This week I thought I would use the sketch challenge as my muse, particularly Sketch Challenge 607. Here is the sketch:

And here is my card!

I started out by making a background. I used some fall leaves on the edges in Dapper Denim and Always Artichoke ink (Stampin Up's alliterative color names), and then stamped a French script background. All of these stamps are retired.

Maybe my favorite element is this brick. I used a brick embossing folder and then just dragged Crazed Cajun, Real Red, and Cherry Cobbler ink pad across it.

This bird is from the Best Birds SU stamp set. As you can see, I airbrushed him with Copic markers. This is an unbelievably quick way to color something, but it only works if you are going to cut it out. I have the die that matches this stamp, but it doesn't cut as closely as my scissors.

I worked and worked  with an entirely different background for "Panel 6" (see above), and I just couldn't get one that would look awesome with this bird. So I browsed through my dies to get some inspiration, and I found it! The sign holder was cut from black paper and then I used some metallic rub-ons. The sign itself was cut out of white cardstock, the frame was colored black with a black Copic marker, and then the same metallic rub-on was applied. The stamp is from SU's Established Elegance stamp set.

Then I put it all together.  I'm going to go home tonight and see what other Splitcoast challenges strike my fancy. That was fun!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Pop It Ups Designer Challenge - Girly or Ghouly

I am honored and flattered to be asked to participate as a Guest Designer for Karen Burniston and her amazing Pop It Ups dies. In addition to being honored and flattered, I am totally psyched about this challenge. Shelly Hickox (who totally rocks in all ways) has chosen as the theme for this challenge "Girly or Ghouly." The designers are asked to chose either a girly theme or a ghouly theme and make a card. But I was thinking . . . why choose? How could I make a card that embraced both the light side and the dark side.

I had created a staggered accordian card for a friend's birthday a few weeks ago, and I thought I would like to try my hand at another staggered accordian card. The thing with accordian cards is they usually have a pretty side and a plain side (with the exception of the front panel, which can have two sides). I tend to write my greeting and sign my name on the boring back side, and leave the front side to be displayed by my friends for months on their mantles or bedside tables until they deteriorate with age. (I like to imagine my friends never throw away cards I make for them.)

And here is the link to the instructions that Karen gives for a staggered accordian card.

Anyway, here's what I made:

The "Girly" side:

What little girl doesn't like dressing up for Halloween and gathering as much chocolate as she can carry? It's in our DNA.

The "Trick or Treat" sentiment is by Stampin Up, and the girl with the pumpkin is a stamp from Oxford Impressions.

This little girl in the witch's costume is a stamp from Artistic Outpost as is the butterfly stamp. I don't know if you tell from the photo, but the moon and the butterflies were painted with Wink of Stella.

And finally the third panel . . . oh wait. What is that peeking from behind the third panel with its gnarles branches. It looks like a segue to . . .

The "Ghouly" side:

While the "girly" side was very stampy, the "ghouly: side has some amazing new Halloween dies from Karen Burniston. Let's break it down for a closer look:

Again, the "Trick or Treat" stamp starts us off. Look at those great dies at the bottom. The tree is actually behind the cemetery, and the cemetery is bowed just a little bit to give it some depth and dimension. They are both from the Halloween Scene die set. (Note how I put some white Wink of Stella on the grave stones to reflect the moonlight.)

The bats are also dies from the new Halloween Scene die set. Where I had pretty butterflies on the "girly" side, I have bats on the "ghouly" side.

I also wanted to show you a close-up of the moon, which stands out better against this black background. I wish you could see the Wink of Stella that makes this really shimmer. Oh well.

The final panel has a couple of things going on. Up at the top of the card, there is a spider hanging from a spider web from that same Halloween Scene die set. I cut the spider web die cut in half because I only needed part of it. I also stamped the spider twice so I could glue a piece of thread--I mean "web" --between the layers.

At the bottom of the panel is the fence from the brand new Iron Fence Pop-up die set. This time I used the fence flat on the card, but you should check out what else this fence can do. Next time . . . next time. The bird (raven?) is also from the same die set.

See that green bush that the raven is in front of? That is actually the back side of the girl holding a pumpkin. Which brings me to my confession.

I actually should not have anything where I have the girl holding the pumpkin because it hinders the moving part of that panel from folding absolutely flat. However, this card has so much stuff in it that it's never going to fold flat, and it's so pretty that it will not need to go into an envelope. (Because I'm keeping it!) But please keep that in mind if you make an accordian fold card that you want to send to someone.

Here is how the two sides of the card would look sort-of folded. Note that the Girly background shows through on the Ghouly side and vice versa:

The Poem:

The verse that is in this card, the Halloween poem, was written just for this card! (I needed a unifying theme.) Feel free to use it in your Halloween cards if you like, but (obviously) if you post it anywhere, please give me credit. Here it is all put together:

Lastly, I thought you might enjoy seeing how I built up the background paper for the girly side of the card.

I started with a tiny acrylic stamp in the MISTI, See how I marked the grid on the top (outside) of the MISTI. That way I knew exactly where the stamp would go every time. I placed the stamp where it needed to be, and then stamped all three background sheets, one at a time. Then I moved the stamp to the next position and stamped all three backgrounds again. This was the first time I had tried this with my relatively new MISTI. I could not believe how easy this was!

And then I had three identical backgrounds, which are supposed to be reminiscent of Victorian walpaper, or something like that.

I randomly stamped Oxford Impressions stamps in the purply color and then airbrushed green and pink with Copic markers. So much for Victorian wallpaper.

Then I stamped, in green, a linen background stamp to give it a deeper green color and some great texture. Finally, I white embossed some Stampin Up leaves and flowers.

The ghouly background was easier, yet way messier. I basically used the wrinkle-free distress technique with reinkers and a spray bottle on watercolor paper, but then while the paper was still wet I added some teal and purple shimmer sprays. This card has some shimmer to in real life. It took a while to dry, but I let it dry naturally so the shimmer would be as shimmery as possible.

That's it. I hope you liked my card. Many thanks to Karen Burniston who asked me to serve as a guest designer for this challenge and to Shelly Hickox for coming up with such a great theme. I had a blast!!! Thanks, Karen! Thanks, Shelly!


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Pop-It-Ups Challenge: Stretch it Out

Wow! It has been forever since I posted anything on my blog. Shame on me!

Luckily I was inspired by a recent challenge on Karen Burniston's blog to "stretch it out." Karen Burniston is the designer of the Pop It Ups die line from Elizabeth Crafts.  Recently some friends of mine and I got together to create some accordian cards using napkins as a background. Those accordian cards were so much fun to make, and it turns out that napkins make gorgeous background paper with a very cool texture, similar to fabric.

I should do a separate post on these sometime. As you can imagine, this accordian-type format for a card makes an amazing display on any friend's fireplace mantle or entry hall table. (I like to imagine my friends putting cards I send them in places of distinction.)

Back to the card I just made, however, it was inspired by this blog post by Karen Burniston to make an accordian card, along with a tutorial for a STAGGERED accordian card. Here is my version.

I chose a pad of paper from Prima Designs that I have been hoarding forever called "Lyric." It's so pretty and feminine.

It's my new goal to do more fussy cutting. I know that is very counter-culter in the papercrafting industry right now with all the cool dies that go with the cool stamps, but fussy cutting produces great results, especially if you are cutting patterned paper. So I fussy cut the roses you see above, painted the roses themselves with Wink of Stella (ultra-fine glitter in a tube applied with a brush), and put a half-pearl sticker over each and every baby's breath blossom. I wish you could see the shimmer of the Wink of Stella. Trust me that it's lovely in real life. In fact, every rose on the entire card is painted with Wink of Stella.

For the window, I branched out from Pop It Ups dies and used a Sizzix die for the window and a Cheery Lynn die for the outside of the frame. I was delighted at how these two dies worked together.  I dug through my stash and found a bead with another bead on it, and thought it was a good complement to the Lyric paper. The butterfly is also painted with Wink of Stella.

Confession: I added this window to the card kind of late in the game. In fact, I had already attached all three panels to each other. And then when I die cut it . . . it was not centered as well as I had hoped. The butterfly was added to trick your eye into thinking that this was a well-constructed card.

Look at that! I not only fussy cut, but I used a "paper tole" technique, which is a fancy way of saying I made several layers and put pop dots between them. I even curved the rose petals a little.

Although these accordian cards are all about being "open," you have to put a front on the closed version so the recipient of the card is not bewildered when she takes it out of the envelope.

I hope you liked my card, and if you have a chance, check out Karen's tutorial.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tutorial - Envelope Punch Board File Folder Album

My story of this gorgeous mini album begins with discovering this video on Youtube. The album this woman (who I only know as Angelwings14100) created was AMAZING!!! 

Anyway I wanted to find a written tutorial on it, but I couldn't find one. The video author did say she had been quite ill, and so she may not have gotten around to making one yet. I hope she's okay, as she is an amazing artist and seems to be a very nice person.

So instead of finding a written tutorial, I found this video by her and then this video by her. I have "Americanized" her instructions as we here in the States don't usually use A4 paper (8.27" X 11.69"). So if you check out her videos, there is that discrepancy. There are other minor changes I made just because this was easier for me.

6X6 paper packs are perfect for this project. A 24-sheet pack will make a book with 3 "pages," so if you want more pages, get two identical or coordinating paper pads. Of course, you can use regular sized scrapbook paper as well.

So let's get started on the tutorial:

We'll start with the outside of the book!

  • Cut two pieces of chipboard to 6-1/4" X 4-3/4".
  • Cut one piece of chipboard to 6-1/4" X 1-1/2".
  • Cut a piece of cardstock to 6-3/4" X 12".
  • Score the cardstock just shy of 1/4" on all four sides.
  • Layer your chipboard on the cardstock as shown above. 
  • Clip the corners of the cardstock.
  • Place adhesive (I use ScoreTape) on all four edges of the card stock.

  • Remove the release paper from the ScoreTape one edge at a time, fold the edge over the cardstock, and burnish with a bone folder. This is going to give you a very nice finished edge.
(Alternatively, you can cut your cardstock to fit just to the edge of the chipboard and paint or ink the edges. If so, cut your cardstock cover to 6-1/4" X 11-1/2".)

  • Cut a piece of cardstock to 6-1/4" X 11-1/2" - this will be the inside of your cover.
  • Cut a piece of cardstock to 8-1/4" X 3-1/2" - this will be the inside back pocket of the cover.
  • Score the pocket piece at 1" on each end.

  • Before you attach the inside cover to the book, wrap the pocket piece around the back of the inside cover, and glue it down on the back. See the photo above. The bone folder shows how you have made an open pocket. This will be critical for later.

  • Attach the inside of the cover to the outside.
  • With the edge (not the point!) of your bone folder, gently press the crease down.
  • Fold your book cover closed. WOW - it's already starting to take shape!

  • On the outside cover, run a piece of ScoreTape across the center of the book (see photo).
  • Cut a yard of ribbon, center it, and adhere it to the book cover.
  • Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper to 6" X 4-1/2", and adhere them to the front and back covers.
  • Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to 6" X 1-1/4", and adhere it to the spine of your book.
  • Decorate! 
NOTE: If you want to sponge the edges of your paper, it's easier to remember to do it before you glue them to the cardstock - especially if your cardstock is light in color and you want it to stay that way.

  • Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to 4-1/2" X 5-3/4" - adhere to the inside front.
  • Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to 6" X 1-1/2" - adhere to inside spine.
  • Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to 6" X 2" - adhere to inside back, and this piece will partially slide into your back pocket.
  • Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to 6" X 3-1/4" - adhere to pocket.

Now we are going to make our very first file folder tab using the Envelope Punch Board by We R Memory Keepers.

  • Cut two pieces of cardstock at 6" X 3".
  • Score one long edge on each piece of cardstock at 1/4".
  • With your Envelope Punch Board, punch the opposite long edge of your pieces of cardstock at 3" (see above).
  • Line up either end (right or left corner) of that same edge so that the short edge bisects the very center of the punch (see second picture above).  Punch.
You now have two tabs on your cardstock, one of them is tapered on the end so it looks like a file folder tab, and one of them does not taper on the end and looks less like a file folder tab.
  • Using your paper trimmer, trim off the tab that looks less like a file folder tab. 
If you have any questions about this poorly worded instruction, there are loads of YouTube videos on how to do this. Here's one by Catherine Pooler.
  • Do the exact same thing to your second piece of 6" X 3" cardstock.

  • Put a thin piece of ScoreTape on the folded edge of each piece of cardstock.

  • Remove the release paper from the ScoreTape of one piece of cardstock and line it up right against the left-hand side of the inside of your book. Stick it down, but you might want to leave it a bit loose at this point in case you have to make any adjustments.

  • Remove the release paper from the second piece of cardstock and line it up so that when the "doors" are closed they meet in the middle.
  • When everything is lined up properly, press down firmly. I even go ahead and burnish the fold with my bone folder so it lays flatter.

  • Cut a two pieces of matching scrapbook paper at 6" X 2-1/2" to cover the outside of the gatefold doors. 
  • On each piece, make a file folder edge exactly like the ones you made from the cardstock. 
  • THEN trim 1/8" from both of the short edges so your paper is now only 5-3/4" long. 
  • Mat the scrapbook paper onto the cardstock gatefold doors.

  • If you want to add "door knobs" with decorative brads, now is the time to do that. You can even attach a piece of ribbon to each brad so the doors are tied together.

  • Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper exactly like you did for the outside of the doors.
  • When you cut the tabs, however, cut the them on the OPPOSITE  side, because we're now working on the inside (or opposite side) of the door. (You'll figure it out.)
Congratulations! You have finished the outside of the book. Now it's time to make the pages.

  • For each page that you make, cut one piece of cardstock to 6" X 11".  NOTE: The picture shows 8-1/2" X 6". What was I thinking? The correct measurement is 6" X 11".
  • Score the cardstock parallel to the short edge at 1/4", 4-1/4", and 8-1/4".
(If you are using a Score-It Board, score at 1/4", then 4" from there, then another 4" from there.)

  • With the 1/4" fold on your right, fold the 1/4" piece over and put thin ScoreTape along the edge.
  • Put wider ScoreTape (or thin, it doesn't matter) on the bottom edge of the next panel on the right side (see picture above).

  • Remove the release paper from the ScoreTape and fold it up so that you have a pocket with an opening at the top and a 2-3/4" wide extra piece on the left.
  • Cut a tab on the extra piece as shown above.
The tab on this extra piece  can be either at the top or the bottom. I like to alternate them between pages, i.e., pages 1 and 3 will have bottom tabs, and pages 2 and 4 will have top tabs.

  • Orient the page with the pocket at the top and the file folder flap on the right (see first photo above).
  • Cut a piece of scrapbook paper at 5-3/4" X 3-3/4" and adhere it to the front of the pocket.
  • Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper at 6" X 2-1/2" and cut them to cover the inside and outside of your file folder flap.
  • Decorate the outside file folder flap with more scrapbook paper and a border punch or edge die. You can use ribbon her to. Whatever you want. Go crazy.

Now make a tag for your top-loaded pocket:

  • Cut a piece of cardstock at 6" X 3-1/2."
  • Cut a tab by lining up one side at 2-1/2" inches on your Envelope Punch Board and then punching the right edge as well. 

  • Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper at 5-3/8" X 3-1/4" and adhere them to either side of your tag.

  • Flip the entire page over.
  • Cut a piece of scrapbook paper at 5-3/4" X 2" and adhere it to the left side of the back page.

  • Cut a piece of cardstock at 6" X 2-1/2" and cut a file folder tab in it.
Just like before, this file folder tab can be on either side, and I like to alternate them.

  • Cut a piece of scrapbook paper at 6" X 2-1/4", cut a file folder tab in it, and adhere it to cardstock.

  • Make "hinges" by taking a long scrap piece of cardstock and cutting it 3/4" wide. 
  • Score it lengthwise down the middle.
  • Put a piece of ScoreTape on both sides of the score line. This is what you will cut your "hinges" from.

  • Flip your recently made file folder panel over so the cardstock is face up (scrapbook paper face down).
  • Put a piece of ScoreTape on the long straight edge of the cardstock panel (opposite the file folder tab).
  • Cut your "hinges" long enough to go from the ScoreTape to the edge of the panel where the file folder tab is. Do this on both ends of the cardstock.

  • Remove the release paper from the ScoreTape and adhere the "pocket" to the back page as shown above. (The pocket is the pink part. You haven't made the brown part with the swirls yet.)
  • Cut a piece of cardstock at 5-1/2" X 3-1/4".
  • Cut two pieces of scrapbook paper at 5-1/4" X 3" and adhere them to either side of the cardstock. (That's the brown part with the swirls.)

  • Make an achoring page by cutting a piece of chipboard and two pieces of scrapbook paper all at 6" X 3-3/4" and adhere them all together. This page is going to go behind your other pages and anchor the page into the cover.

After you have made 3 - 5 pages and your anchoring page, it's time to bind them. I used a Bind-It-All and just used six prongs in the very center of each page. This was very easy because the Bind-It-All punches six holes at a time.

Be sure to take your tags out of the pages before you punch them, and then put them back in when you have made your punches. This will ensure that you don't accidentally punch a tag and bind it in, thereby preventing the tag from ever coming out again.

  • After all your pages and your anchoring page (behind the rest of the pages) have all be bound together, you can insert the anchoring page into the pocket that you made in the cover.

Be very careful when you make your first one. Seriously, these books are addictive. I didn't want you to say I didn't warn you.