Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Always Hollyhocks

Hello, Friends,

I wasn't sure it was going to be possible, but I made another card for Anna Kossakovskaya's Casometry Challenge 3.  This card is for the Randomizer Stage 2 challenge which is to use the same stamp at least three times on one card.  

If you didn't click the link above, you've got to check out the card Anna made on her blog here for this challenge.  Anna used the same stamp on her card, but she used it a lot more than three times!  Her card is fabulous!!

For my card, I was pleasantly surprised when I randomly chose the Clearly Besotted stamp set Sunshine and Smiles.  Clearly Besoted stopped making stamps in the winter of 2016 with plans to come back in 2017.  I haven't seen anything from them yet and they're great floral sets are becoming harder and harder to find.  This is what the stamp set I used looks like, in case you can't find it for sale online.

I said I was pleasantly surprised, because this would not have been the stamp set I chose on my own for this challenge.  Since we're using randomly picked stamp sets (Evernote chose mine), this is the one that came up and it was perfect for this challenge.  I think I may keep up the idea of chosing stamp sets randomly sometimes to give the stamps I don't always think of immediately a better chance of being used!

I have never made a card using the masking technique before, but I knew instantly I wanted to make a garden of hollyhocks for my card.  I stamped my hollyhock image on a post-it note and cut out the bottom portion of the stamp which would overlap on my card.  I wanted the middle floral image to be in the front and center of my card so I stamped it first.  Then, I put my post-it note cut out over that image.  Using the MISTI, I was able to move my card to the left and then to the right to stamp the same flowers two more times.  I removed the post-it mask and my images were ready to color!  

I broke out my Copic markers and began coloring.  I tried to shade my flowers based on the images I saw when I googled "hollyhocks" as well as my knowledge of shading that I'm trying to put into practice.  For instance, flowers and leaves that would be behind other flowers and leaves would have to be darker than the ones further in front because the sunshine wouldn't be able to reach them as much.  Since the petals on the flowers would be curved in real life, the part of the curve that would be closest to you would be the lightest because the sunshine would hit that area the first.  The edges that are curving  back would be farther from the sunshine and would therefore be darker.  I still have a lot to learn about shading, but I'm trying to get better at it!

When all of my coloring was complete, I cut out my flowers using the largest die in the My Favorite Things Stitched Rectangle Scallop Edge Frame set.  I placed the die over the flowers, placing them at the bottome of the rectangle while leaving room at the top for the sentiment.  Then, I cut another rectangle and frame with the exact same die from solid white cardstock to make my white scalloped frame around the flowers.  Before I attached those pieces to my card base, I stamped the word "Always" as the sentiment on top.  I wasn't sure if that font was going to look good with the more whimsical looking flowers, but I was very happy with the results!  That was good, because I stamped right on the colored cardstock, so there was no changing my mind if I didn't like it!

I've also been trying to improve my pictures.  Short of winning the lottery so I could get a better camera and lighting equipment, some better backgrounds was the best I could come up with at this point.  You may see several different milk glass pieces featured in my pictures starting with this one.  They belonged to my Grandma who passed away last fall.  She and I both loved milk glass, so my Mom has been bringing her collection home to me.  I love being able to feature some of them with my cards.  My Grandma always liked seeing the cards I made, so it's nice to combine the two forms of art together.

Besides entering my card in Anna's challenge, I am also entering it in this week's Color Throwdown Challenge #440 to use purple, yellow, and green on a card.  


While my card might look a little more pink, when I put it on different colors of background paper, you could tell instantly that it was more purple than pink.  The purple background paper made the colors shine while the pink just looked wrong!  

If I don't see you before, hopefully I'll be back next week for the next stage of Anna's challenge!  

Happy Stamping!

I used the following products to make this card:

Sunshine and Smiles Stamp Set by Clearly Besotted
Brushed Blooms Stamp Set by Papertrey Ink
Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad by Tsukineko
Dark Chocolage Ink Pad by Altenew
Copic Markers
Solar White 80 lb. Cardstock by Neenah
Pistachio Pudding Cardstock by Stampin' Up (retired)
Stitched Rectangle Scallop Edge Frames by My Favorite Things

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Reverse Confetti Casometry Challenge using Mouse Mail

Hello, Friends!

....and we're back!  

Speaking of backs, you never know when mine is going to cooperate and when it's going to betray me!  Today is the first day I've felt "good" enough to make a card in a long time.  So, when I felt like it, I jumped on the opportunity.

Well, not jumped, because that would have ruined my back again.
More like very carefully took advantage of the opportunity.

I have followed Anna Kossakovskaya's blog, Live Love Create for a long time.  She is an amazing stamper and I encourage you to check out her blog as soon as you have a chance!  Be prepared to see some gorgeous cards!  While laying in bed going through emails, I saw that Anna is having a 5 week challenge that I thought would be fun to participate in.  You can participate in one week or all five or somewhere in the middle.  On this post, she talks about her Casometry Challenge 3 which I had to participate in, even though I only had one day left.  

Here are the details!  First, you're to use a random stamp set that hasn't been used before or needs some love.  If you participate in all 5 weeks, you will use 5 different sets.  I used Evernote, a computer program, which has all of my stamps in it to pick the first set I used.  My random set was Reverse Confetti's Stamp set, Mouse Mail.  Isn't it cute?!!  I love these sweet little mice and if it weren't for my back, you'd have seen them as soon as they came to live at our house!  For the challenge, the stamps need to be the main focus of the card but you could use other products as well.  It could be a Clean and Simple card, but since that's not everybody's thing, it didn't have to be.  I went for the CAS design.  The extra specific element in the first week's challenge was to use your random stamp set and a geometry shape.  In all my years stamping, I don't think I've ever made a circular card.  If I have it has been a very, very long time ago, as in long before I started my blog.  So, I decided to use circles for my geometric shape and to make my card out of those shapes. 

For my mice, I decided to break out the colored pencils and give them the extra detail of hair!  I still want to learn how to add extra details to my cards using them, so now was a great time to try and practice fur.  I knew that however they turned out, I would have to share to enter Anna's Challenge, because by this point I didn't have enough time or energy to start over!  I colored my mice gray with pink ears with my Copics and then put my Faber Castell Polychromos to work.  I used 4 different pencils to give the mice different colors of hair, since that's how they would be in real life.  I think for my first attempt, they turned out alright.  It's very hard to not end up with rows of hair.  If I did it again, I wouldn't try to cover the mice with one layer of hair and then add random accents over and over.  That's how I ended up with lines of hair, no matter how many random accents I added.  Instead, I would just add random little marks all over the mice in different colors and then go back and fill in over and over until they were complete.  I don't know if this would help, but that's what I'm going to try next time to see if it works better!  Colored pencils made coloring the little boy mouse's shirt so much easier than Copics because the lines were so little.  Since practicing fur was my main purpose, besides entering Anna's challenge, I didn't worry about shading this time.

I purposely gave my boy mouse darker fur than my girl mouse.  I accomplished this just by using more of the darkest pencil when I was adding my little fur marks.  Clearly, he is a tall, dark and handsome mouse, which is why our little girl has written him a letter!  

Since we were using random stamps that hadn't been used before, I decided to use dies that hadn't been used before also.  I love these Lawn Fawn Fancy Scalloped Circle Stackables Dies that I used for my blue background.  I love the extra little cut out piece in the scallops.  It definitely adds to the cute factor, in my opinion.  I also used Lawn Fawn Small Stitched Circle Stackables which fit inside the Fancy Scallops perfectly!  I was going to put another white circle inside of it, but the mice looked best on the red circle.  

I used another die that hadn't been used before from the My Favorite Things set, Stitched Sentiment Strips, for my banner.  Ironically, you can't actually see the stitched part of this die because I cut it off since it was much longer than the sentiment.  Next time, I'll make sure you can see the stitched part!  With a little bit of twine from Doodlebug, my card was complete!  

Although I love the dark blue circle, it wouldn't work very well for writing a message.  So, I adhered a folded white circle onto the back which you can't see from the picture.  I scored a piece of cardstock and then ran it through the big shot with another circle die.  However, I made sure that the scored part of the paper actually started below where the die would cut, so the entire circle wouldn't be cut out.  This made a little folded "almost circle" which I attached to the back of my card so I would have a white space to write on.  If that doesn't make sense, leave me a comment and I'll take pictures to explain.  I didn't think to do that at the time and by the time my card was finished, so was my back!  :)

Now, I'm going to enter my card in Anna's Challenge.  Hopefully,  I'll be back in a few days with another card to share with you.  Maybe I'll finally get to watercolor something for you!

Happy Stamping!

I used the following products to make this card:

Mouse Mail Stamp Set by Reverse Confetti
Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad by Tsukineko
Blueberry Premium Dye Ink Pad by My Favorite Things
Copic Markers
Polychromos Colored Pencils by Faber Castell
Solar White Cardstock by Neenah
Real Red Cardstock by Stampin' Up
Blueberry Prestige Cardstock by My Favorite Things
Mouse Mail Confetti Cuts Dies by Reverse Confetti
Fancy Scalloped Circle Stackables and Small Stitched Circle 
Stackables Dies by Lawn Fawn
Stitched Sentiment Strips Die-namics by My Favorite Things
Primary Assortment of Doodletwine by Doodlebug
MISTI by My Sweet Petunia
Scotch Double Sided Foam Mounting Tape by 3M

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Spring Butterflies Have Arrived!

Hello, Friends!

Besides coloring tulips with Copics and Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils, I've also been making some other cards without telling you.  You might remember I had a list of cards to make on my Ta-Da list and slowly, I've been getting them done.  


This was one of the cards I made for someone who has become a dear friend!  We met on the Papertrey Ink Forum.  First, when I was wondering if I was allergic to their wool or not, she sent me a sample that I could touch to see if it made me itchy.  That told me she was very nice and generous.

Then, you may remember last fall, my Fentanyl patches suddenly stopped working.  I went from being very medicated to keep my back pain at a level I could tolerate to completely unmedicated in a matter of days.  I was begging for prayers anywhere I could get them and posted what was happening on the PTI Forum.  It took more than a month to finally start to get things under control.  In all the pain and mess, I forgot to update people on the forum about how things were going.  This dear woman contacted me to see how I was doing.  This doesn't happen very often, so she immediately had a special place in my heart, whether we ever talked again or not.  

Luckily, we did!  We switched from sending messages over the forum to emails.  We both are Christians and enjoy making cards, especially with Papertrey Ink goodies.  Now that I am finally able to stamp some, I knew she was someone I wanted to send a card to right away!

We both live in the midwest and I knew we both might have snow on the ground when my card arrived.  I thought a reminder that spring IS on the way might be fun to receive!  Since we both love Papertrey, I used their supplies to make her card.

I started by using Papertrey Ink's Bitty Butterflies Cover Plate to cut the butterfly shapes from 3 different colors of cardstock, which are listed below.  Then I chose one floral patterned butterfly from the Bitty Butterflies stamp set to go on the cardstock die cuts.  Using my MISTI, I was able to line up my stamp into the negative space where one of the butterflies had been die cut.  Then, all I had to do was pop in a butterfly into the negative space and stamp it on the cardstock using the matching ink color.  I was able to stamp all of my butterflies pretty quickly.  

After that, I just had to cut out another cover plate die cut out of white cardstock for the front of my card.  Just like I placed the butterfly in the negative space to stamp it with the MISTI, all I had to do now was place a stamped butterfly into the hole left by the die.  I tried just putting glue in the center of my butterflies so their wings would stick up a little bit.  I'm praying that none of the butterflies flew off the card on their trip.  I made sure my friend received her card before I posted this, but I haven't asked her about this yet!

I gently pulled the white cardstock back up so I could tie a bow around it for a little embellishment.  My friend knows I love ribbon and greatly took part in the PTI sale when ribbon was only $.50!  So I thought it would be fun to show her how wonderful a little ribbon on a card can be since she doesn't usually use it.  :)

After the ribbon, I gently put the white cardstock back down, this time adhering it to stay.  A smart person would have put the ribbon on first, stuck it down and then put on the butterflies.  Unfortunately "Pain Killer Brain" struck again and I took the hard route.  Luckily, it all worked out after I glued a couple of butterflies back in their spaces!

I had planned this card for a while, but just completed it last week.  It happened to fit into two challenges that were announced after my plans but before I had made it.  I'm entering it in the Papertrey Ink 10th Anniversary Day Two March Release Challenge to use multiples of the same shapes on a card, whether stamps or dies.  These pretty little butterflies met that challenge wonderfully!

I am also entering it in the Wednesday Simon Says Stamp Challenge to make a card for a special lady or girl.  It definitely went to a special lady! 

Stay tuned for more cards that have been sent to special friends!

Happy Stamping!

I used the following products by Papertrey Ink to make this card:

Bitty Butterflies Stamp Set
Sweet Blush, Lemon Tart and Aqua Mist Ink Pads
Stampers Select White Cardstock
Sweet Blush, Lemon Tart and Aqua Mist Cardstock
Cover Plate:  Bitty Butterflies Die
Lemon Tart 1/2" Satin Solid Ribbon

MISTI by My Sweet Petunia
Glue Pen Medium Point by X-Press It

Monday, March 13, 2017

Copic Marker Tulips are Completed

Hello, Friends!

Today, I have colored the same image of tulips that I shared yesterday.  This time, I only used Copic Markers to color them. 

Here are the tulips I shared with you yesterday which have a Copic Marker base to the tulips and then were colored with colored pencils on top.  The leaves were entirely colored with colored pencils.

Here are the two cards, side by side so you can compare them.  Feel free to go back to the larger images if you want to inspect something more closely.

So, now that they're both done, what do you think?
I wanted to make the two cards as similar as possible to each other.  The actual tulip flowers are very similar in color.  I wanted to use greens that were also close to the same color, but as you can tell that didn't work out!  I wanted to use three colors of green pencils and three colors of green Copics, so these were my choices.  I kept the shading very similar on both cards.  I used the same white cardstock and pink base cardstock for both cards.  Due to the difference in greens, I couldn't use the same shade for the mats.  When you are trying to decide which technique you like the best, try not to let your favorite green shades influence your opinion.  

As you can tell, the colored pencil on the left is not as smooth looking as the Copic Markers on the right.  When I colored it, I didn't use any other method to blend my pencils other than using the pencils themselves.  I could have used Gamsol or baby oil or other products that blend the pencil colors together which I believe would have made it look smoother.  However, after spending all of that time coloring, I didn't want to take a chance of messing it up using a new product for the first time!  I will color a smaller image with colored pencils and then try using Gamsol to blend them and will show you the results this month.

The Copic Marker tulips were definitely much faster to create than the colored pencil ones.  This could be for a few reasons.  One of which is that I have a lot more experience with Copics.  However, the other is that it just takes a lot longer to lay down colors and blend them with the pencils than it does the markers.  The alcohol ink in Copics is made to naturally blend together easily.  As soon as your paper is saturated with ink, the colors begin to blend very easily.  Colored pencils never just begin to blend on their own.  You have to "force" them to blend by layering more and more colors on top of each other and coloring over what you have already colored repeatedly until you have the shading done the way you would like.  

I personally don't have a favorite.  I like them both, even though they do have very noticable differences.  Do you have a favorite?  

Have you ever altered an envelope to go with a card you have created?
That was Papertrey Ink's Challenge on their blog back on March 7th which you can see here.  I had intended to just stamp the outline of my tulips on an envelope to make it match my card.  Unfortunately, I forgot about this and took my tulip stamp set upstairs.  A second trip up and down the stairs is way too painful so I had to get creative!  I cut a piece of PTI patterned paper that matched the pink cardstock that I used for my base into a liner for my envelope.  This pretty floral print with make an extra surprise for the person who receives and opens my card.  

I'm also entering my Copic tulips into Kathy Rascoosin's 30 Day Coloring Challenge.  

I'll see you again tomorrow with more cards for Papertrey Ink's Challenges they've been hosting over the past several days!

Happy Stamping!

I used the following products to make my 
Copic Marker Tulips Card and Altered Envelope: 

Friendship Jar Spring Fillers Stamp Set by Papertrey Ink
Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad by Tsukineko
Copic Markers
Solar White 80 lb. Cardstock by Neenah
Sweet Blush Cardstock by Papertrey Ink
Elf Green Cardstock by My Favorite Things
Sweet Blush Pattern Pack of Paper by Papertrey Ink
MISTI by My Sweet Petunia 
A2 Envelopes by Die Cuts with a View

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Colored Pencils Tulips are Completed!

Hello, Friends!

Well, the colored pencil tulips are complete!  As I showed in the last post, I started by coloring my tulips with a layer of Copic markers.  I then added color and shading with five different pencils.  

For the leaves, I only used colored pencils.  I could tell you I did this so you could look for a difference and compare so it sounded better.  Unfortunately, the truth is that I forgot I had done that with the tulips and just started coloring the stems and leaves.  About half way through the first layer of green on the stems, I remembered that I wanted to use Copics on the bottom layer.  It was way too late then, so I just continued.  I used three colors of green pencils for the leaves and stems.  I used a light, medium and dark shade of the same color.  

Because I wanted all of the focus to be on my tulips, I just matted the flowers in a matching dark green cardstock and a light pink cardstock base.

So this was my first real attempt to color and shade with colored pencils since Parker the Pig.  Tomorrow, if all goes as planned, I'll have the same image colored for you using only Copic markers so you can compare the two.   

I am entering this card in a few challenges.  First, Papertrey Ink issued a challenge to make a card based on one of the stitching projects they used in this post.  I chose this picture which led to my tulips inspiration.

Lizzie Jones Game Board 2

The actual flowers reminded me of the "O's" and where the stems crossed reminded me of the "X's."  I don't have any stitching dies, so I had to get creative!  

I am also entering this card in Simon Says Stamps Wednesday Challenge For a Special Lady or Girl.  This card will be sent to a special Lady who is fighting cancer.  

Finally, I am also entering it in Kathy Rascoosin's The Daily Marker 30 Day Coloring Challenge.  

Let me know what you think of this first image!

Happy Stamping and Coloring!

I used the following products to make this card:

Friendship Jar Spring Fillers Stamp Set by Papertrey Ink
Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad by Tsukineko
Polychromos Colored Pencils by Faber Castell
Solar White 80lb Cardstock by Neenah
Sweet Blush Cardstock by Papertrey Ink
Mossy Meadow Cardstock by Stampin' Up (retired)
MISTI by Sweet Petunia

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