Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas cards, part deux

Well, hello again! I can hardly believe it myself, but I managed to create cards for the past two weekends. The first I'm going to talk about is a side step card. See Sandi MacIver's tutorial for the mechanics of creating the card here:
Page down until you get to the November 16, 2009 post.

I don't know Sandi at all, but I thank her for her wonderful instructions that enabled me to create the following cards.
Base: Real Red
DP: SU! Dashing
Ink: Old Olive
Mats: Whisper White/Old Olive/Real Red
Stamps: SU! Snow Swirled; sentiment from SU! Home for Christmas
SU! Ornament Punch
Rinestones from Recolections

Ink the tree with Old Olive then marker over the ornaments with a marker equivalent to SU! Real Red and the dotted swirls with a SU! Handsome Hunter equivalent. Marking over adds interest to the stamped image. To keep the ink moist, puff [huff] as if you were a kid in the cold on the inked up image just prior to pressing onto the paper. After the ink is dry, I used a spot of Tombo adhesive in the center of the ornaments then added the Rinestones. I sponged Old Olive around the tree. I assembled the card using pop dots on the ornament, the sentiment on the ornament and the sentiment in the lower right of the card.

Card number two is similar to the above except I used a rock and roll technique on the tree. First ink the tree image using Old Olive. Then, roll the outside edge only of the image onto an Always Artichoke ink pad. This gives a darker edge to the tree and adds interest. As before, I markered over the ornaments with a marker equivalent to SU! Bravo Burgandy [since the color scheme of the DP is different, adjust the colors accordingly]. Huff and press into the paper. Add rinestones, etc... I sponged Old Olive and Always Artichoke around the tree.

Card same as above except:
Base: Bravo Burgandy
DP: Holiday Thyme
Mats: Very Vanilla/Always Artichoke

This third card is a design from Michelle Zindorf. She wrote an excellent tutorial here:

The card is just like hers except:
Base: Night of Navy
Mat: Brushed Silver

Michelle uses markers to color in her tutorial. I used Prismacolor pencils and gamsol [odorless mineral spirits] because I can get more variety of color choices and can play with shades/hues. I have a limited number of markers, none of which are SU markers,and I prefer the creative options of the pencils/OMS technique.
So there you have it! I'm satisfied with the type of cards I have this year, just not the quantity. I only have 15 total and I need about 25 to give everyone on my card list a handmade card. Hmmmmmm, will I get them done in time???

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Theme and Variation

Success! I have cleaned off my workspace and started my Christmas cards. You can see for yourself where the 'magic happens' [lol].

It snowed yesterday. It was both beautiful and inspiring and just what I needed to help put me in the Christmas card making mood.
This is the view from the window in my craft space.

This morning I woke up to our most curious kitty, our dear Pi, peering as usual out of her preferred window. Only today she had tons of white stuff to examine. Here she is surveying her neighborhood:

Each year I try to come up with a completely original card to send friends and relatives. I can be wonderfully inspired at times but translating that inspiration into a tangible card that looks good can be a challenge. This year I was inspired by, don't laugh, deer crossing signs. There are a few lining my commute to and from work and some joker decided to put a red nose on all of the deer images. I didn't follow thru with that particular detail [at least not yet] instead intent on creating a 'serious' card for Christmas. I wanted to use up some of my existing Holiday SU! DP paper stock and I was able to accomplish both in this card. Jeff likes a more traditional [red/green] Christmas card and I prefer icy colored cards with glitter. I came up with one design used three ways, hence the "theme and variation". So here are the details:

Card #1:
SU! Bravo Burgandy card stock
SU! Holiday Thyme DP
SU! Night of Navy [scallop trim]
Reindeer image: Inkadinkadoo #98398, Christmas Silhouettes
Sentiment: Night of Navy, Creative Imaginations #21749 Merry and Bright
Stamped Reindeer in Versamark then SU! Basic Black; heat emboss with SU! clear detail embossing powder. Sponged SU! Baja Breese, SU! Soft Sky, SU! Brocade Blue around deer image. Stamp sentiment and sponge SS and BB. Stamped snowflakes using Baja Breeze with stamp from SU! Trees Three set.

Card #2:
Same as #1 except:
SU! Old Olive card base
SU! Ski Slope DP

Card #3:
Same as #1 except:
Embossed with SU! Irridescent Ice
SU! Holiday Harmony DP
Night of Navy card base
SU! Brushed Silver scallop
SU! Almost Amethyst behind oval and also used AA when sponging color around the deer. Stamped snowflakes using AA.
So, do YOU have a favorite?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving randomness...

Since I have no card to share, enjoy the pilgrim kitty.

I never did clean up my craft area, but that is on the agenda for this weekend, in conjunction with several episodes of turkey indulgence (never to occur concurrently though, as one might lose a turkey sandwich in the process).

Jeff and I consider Thanksgiving "our holiday" where we cook for ourselves and do not travel. Perhaps if we ever live closer than 2 hours (or more considering holiday traffic or just traffic in general for NJ) from family, we would consider hosting. But for now this is working out fine.

After Thanksgiving is generally when I start making Christmas cards. I know, I know, I can hear you *tisk tisk*-ing me thru the internet. But it's what I do. I'm a procrastinator. Every year I plan on making cards early, but it never happens. If you think that's bad, you should've seen me in my school days. Pulled some marvellous things right out of my....... errr, thin air.... on short notice. Masterful works they were, too.

I'm not always like that, though. I'm that way just when I *think* I can get away with it.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sad Day

It's always a sad day when we have to say goodbye to a furry friend, but even moreso when that furry friend is still young. Bijou, my brother-in-law's cat, died Tuesday, November 10. He was a Christmas present from my mom to Joe. The cause of death is not certain, but Bijou had an issue producing blood and had a terrible episode 2 years ago that he barely survived. This time he was not so lucky despite his wonderful doctor's intervention. Bijou was a Bengal cat, which is a hybrid of an Asian Leopard Cat crossed with a domestic short-haired cat. He was an exotic cat, as you can observe from the markings on his coat. Bijou was a great companion to Joe and it was easy to see how important each was to the other. Here are a couple of pictures of Bijou taken in late June 2009. In the top photo, Bijou rests in a typical spot- the middle of the dining room table, much to my sister's chagrin. In the second photo you can see the "glittering" in Bijou's coat; typical for a Bengal due to the hollow tips of the hair shaft. Jeff and I absolutely adore our cats, so we get particularily emotional when any cat passes away. We are so going to miss you Bijou, but I can't help but think my mom was there to greet you just on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

New Look and Picture Frame

So here it is, the picture frame that I painted earlier this year. I did three of them in total but gave two away as a "family gift" to my on-line Sorority family. I got two plain picture frame from Michaels and first painted them white with acrylic paint. After they dried, I first painted the border then the leaves, then the roses. Lastly, I added the purple lilacs. I have to be honest and say I did repaint over some of the roses, but I'm not exactly sure which frame I did that on. Could be this one, could be one I gave away.
This is my first attempt at an actual project involving the "one stroke" painting technique. I think the roses could use a little tightening up but overall, I'm ok with it [obviously, I gave two of them away]. Thankfully, my on-line Sorority family indulges my creative endevours. That's probably part of the reason we're family! Love you, Sisters!

What do you think of the new look? The old one was nice, but it was time for a change. I have limited templates to choose from and I did customize this layout ever so slightly. I think I like it, but it will take some getting use to.

In other mundane life challenges, we have one bathroom and a potty that's in a bad mood. This has been a few months in the making and I fear that we're going to have to have a replacement in the not-too-distant future. I'll be great when it's done but for now it's a bit of a pain. At least there's a new season of Real Housewives to watch! Ha ha. Always have to look on the bright side of life!

Friday, November 06, 2009

OMG, it's November.

Yeah, seriously, this isn't even funny. It's November and I haven't posted anything since April. I did hand-paint a picture frame with One-Stroke flowers and if I'm lucky (what am I saying? I'm always LUCKY!!) ahem, if I get a chance, I'll at least post a picture of that for all of you to see. But for now, it's time to put away the paint.

Pretty soon I'll be making Christmas cards (I hope). I guess my point is that my goals for this weekend are to clean up my craft area, post a pic of my picture frame and start hashing out ideas for Christmas cards!

See you in a bit!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Where have I been? It's April for Pete's sake!

Aside from the grind of work, I'll tell you where I've been... making music. Yes folks, I'm sure you'll all be really excited to hear (or not) that I've picked up my violin again after a multi-year hiatus. I've also started plucking away at DBF's oh, um, excuse me DEAR FIANCE'S... guitar.

Yes, with the new year came a new status. I'm now a fiancee. (does that have 2 e's for the girl?). Well, whatever, you get the idea. No immediate wedding plans as we have some other priorites (like housing and replacing a soon to be worn out car). But when the craft bug strikes for things wedding related, all of you will be in the know.

Lastly, I've been spending some time teaching myself the One-Stroke technique for painting flowers. Yes, painting flowers. Just call me a Jacqueline-of-all-trades-master-of-some. I'll post some pics of the flowers when I get a chance.