Saturday, June 16, 2018

PTI’s “Create Along With Us” Challenge, June 2018

Papertrey Ink’s design team produced a bunch of great projects for the June release, but I particularly liked Lizzie’s “Reef Builder” card. For this month’s Create Along With Us challenge, I took inspiration from the color scheme and the banner that she used. Since I particularly wanted a sans serif font to go with the clean lines of the houses, by sheer coincidence I ended up using a similar sentiment as well.

I’ve only had the “Spring Hills” set for about four months, but I’ve already used it on at least eight projects: the sentiments are more versatile than I anticipated, and the houses are an awful lot of fun to play with. It’s a pity that “Summer Hills” is sold out, because I’d love to get more of these little houses.

Stamps:  Papertrey Ink “Keep It Simple: Thank You I” (sans serif), “Spring Hills” (house)
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Nautical Blue
Copics:  R22, R27;  Stampin’ Up Stampin’ Blendabilities: Old Olive light, Old Olive dark, Daffodil Delight dark;  Bic Marking Yellow Blaze
Paper:  Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White
Miscellanea:  Scotch Permanent Double-Sided Tape, Papertrey Ink “Double-Ended Banners” die

4.25” x 5.5”

Sunday, June 10, 2018

My Favorite Things Sketch Challenge #388 & Color Challenge #94

Over the past few days, I saw the My Favorite Things Wednesday Sketch Challenge #388 pop up on a couple of different blogs I follow, and I went, “I could do that!” The smallness of my craft supply stash is inversely proportional to the excitement I feel when I see a challenge that I could complete with supplies that I already own. In other words, I was ridiculously excited to own a banner die this week.

Pig holding cupcake, fishtail banner with sentiment “everything's better with sprinkles,” three cupcakes

My Favorite Things Wednesday Sketch Challenge #388

Since I’m submitting to the MFT sketch challenge, I went ahead and followed the MFT Color Challenge #94 too — it fits the theme of my images wonderfully. (Cherries aren’t naturally peach, but hey, it looks cute. That’s what counts, right?)

My Favorite Things Color Challenge #94

I covered the icing on the cupcakes with shimmer pen, but glitter is notoriously hard to photograph and that proved true once more.

Close-up of cupcakes to capture glitter.

In addition to entering the MFT challenges, I’m submitting the card to Simon Says Stamp’s Work It Wednesday: the theme this month is summer, and this color palette reminds me of beach-themed decor.

Stamps:  My Favorite Things “Hog Heaven” (pig with cupcake, solo cupcake);  Papertrey Ink “Just Desserts Sentiments” (sentiment)
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black;  Hero Arts Soft Cantaloupe, Fresh Peach (layered)
Copics:  R000, R20, B00, Y00;  Stampin’ Up Stampin’ Blendabilities: Costal Cabana light, Calypso Coral light
Paper:  Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White; cheap layering-weight ice blue from stash
Miscellanea:  Scotch Permanent Double-Sided Tape, Papertrey Ink “Double-Ended Banners” die, Pilot Precise V5 in turquoise (sprinkles), Spectrum Noir Sparkle clear

4.25” x 5.5”

Sunday, May 20, 2018

PTI’s “Create Along With Us” Challenge, May 2018

A bunch of cards in Papertrey Ink’s release blog posts this month caught my eye, and when the May Create Along With Us challenge started, I thought, “Why not?” I only managed to make translations of four of the seven cards that I’d saved as inspiration images: limited supplies and lack of time intervened. In the future, I’d like to attempt several iterations of Lizzie’s rainbow stripe star card; its clean, graphic look appealed to me the most out of the cards from this release, and I have several ideas for how to translate it into my own supplies.

I also loved the look of Lizzie’s red and yellow strawberry card, but I didn’t have any patterned paper or stamps that remotely resembled her supplies, so I condensed the elements of her card to their essence: red and white accented by yellow and green, several layers of frames, and a focal image framed in black. The framed image in PTI’s “Spring Hills” set perfectly fit the parameters, and I built the card around it. Since my Copic collection is limited, I didn’t have a suitable yellow-green, and the one lime marker available entirely washed out my yellow Copic, so I went with a more true green for contrast. Putting the focal image on a solid red base looked too flat, so I masked off a piece of cardstock in a plaid pattern and went over it with the same red Copic I had used for the roof of the house.

Stephanie’s simple, graphic strawberries card was my most direct translation, since I could very nearly match the colors and main font she used. I love the look of strawberries but don’t have any strawberry stamps yet, so I went with a flower silhouette and leaves and followed the layout of Stephanie’s card. Since I didn’t use the watercolor technique, the result isn’t as loose and organic as hers, but the graphic layout pleases me.

Stephanie’s fun mint and sprinkles card provided the perfect excuse for me to use my new sprinkle washi tape. This card was the quickest and easiest to make, though the result is much simpler than Stephanie’s since I don’t have coverplate dies or any large image that would coordinate with the theme. Instead, I focused on the color scheme and the theme.

Keeway’s cute little animal card I used primarily as a sketch, since I haven’t any elephant or cloud stamps, but I do have a bunch of adorable little animals. I cut a peach panel to A1 size and layered on a hillside border, the cutest and chubbiest critter I could find, and a sentiment from PTI. The result feels a tad too simple, and it’d look better with some clouds, but one must work with what one has. Cloud dies have jumped much higher on my wish list, though!

Stamps:  Papertrey Ink “Keep It Simple: Thank You I” (bold script), “Spring Hills” (framed hillside), “Just Desserts Sentiments” (“everything’s better...”), “Winter Woods” (“hello”);  WPlus9 “Fresh Cut Florals” (flower and leaves);  Hero Arts “Stamp and Cut: Thanks” (“for your kindness”);  Mama Elephant “Lunar Animals” (cow)
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black, Espresso Truffle;  VersaFine Vintage Sepia;  Hero Arts Pale Tomato, Green Hills, Bubble Gum;  VersaColor Cyan
Copics:  R27, Y00, G14, BG000, W00, and E43 (framed hillside); E34, E30, E0000 (cow);  Stampin’ Up Stampin’ Blendabilities: Crumb Cake Light, Crumb Cake Medium (cow)
Paper:  Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White; cheap layering-weight yellow, mint, and peach from stash
Miscellanea:  Scotch Permanent Double-Sided Tape, Pebbles Happy Hooray Birthday Wishes washi tape, Lawn Fawn “Stitched Hillside Borders” dies

All cards:  4.25” x 5.5”

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Papertrey Ink April Blog Hop Challenge

Last Tuesday when Papertrey Ink posted the inspiration photo for their blog hop, my first thought was that I had no tea-related stamps — oh well! But after I moved on, I recalled that I did, in fact, have one tea image: an old Stampin’ Up wood-block stamp from the very first set I ever got, a Christmas gift about fifteen years ago. I rarely use the set anymore since the sentiments are wrapped around the images, limiting their versatility, but when I pulled out the stamp I realized it wouldn’t be hard to fussy-cut the image.

I wanted to follow the color palette of the inspiration piece as closely as possible, but once I began swatching colors I realized that the simplicity of my image required more flexibility. Magenta and aqua were just too stark when paired together, so I ended up going with one image in cream and rose and another in white and soft aqua.

“Find Beauty in Each Day” in Celadon, with a teapot, teacup, and doily colored in pale aquas.

When sifting through my sentiments to find ones to pair with my focal images, I almost settled on “You’re as sweet as can be” from PTI’s “Just Desserts Sentiments” set — a current favorite — but then I spotted “Find beauty in each day” from PTI’s “Spring Hills” set, and that was perfect to go with a tranquil cup of tea. Equally ideal was “His mercies are new every morning” from Stamp Simply, which I’d been wanting to use on a card for my mother.

“His Mercies Are New Every Morning” in a rosy blend of ink, with a teapot and teacup in cream with rosy-hued flowers and gold trim.

In an attempt to match the Copic color R22 that I had used for the flowers on the cream-and-rose image, I layered several Hero Arts inks for the sentiment, starting with a double-stamped base layer of Fresh Peach, then a layer of second-generation Pale Tomato, followed by a final layer of Cotton Candy.

Close-up of sentiment and of gold accents on cream-and-rose teapot.

I gave the “mercies” card to my mother for World Juggler’s Day — I don’t know how she manages to do all that she does, but her success amazes me — and I’ll be sending the aqua card to my paternal grandmother soon.

Stamps:  Stampin’ Up “Nice & Easy Notes” (image);  Papertrey Ink “Spring Hills” (“find beauty...”);  Stamp Simply “Farmhouse Scriptural Thoughts” (“His mercies...”)
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black;  Hero Arts Fresh Peach, Pale Tomato, Cotton Candy;  VersaColor Celadon
Copics:  E0000, E30, R22, YG45, G12, BG000, W00, W1, and the colorless blender;  Stampin’ Up Stampin’ Blendabilities: Costal Cabana Light
Paper:  Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White
Miscellanea:  Scotch Permanent Double-Sided Tape, Uni-ball Signo UM-100 0.8 mm in gold, Sakura Pigma Micron 0.25 mm in black

Aqua card:  4.25” x 4.25”
Rosy card:  4.75” x 3.5”

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Kaboom! World Penguin Day

Meet Pingy, a pyromaniac penguin.

Penguin wearing a party hat and holding a few sticks of dynamite.

He loves anything to do with explosions — firecrackers, fireworks, dynamite — but he can be lured away from such hazardous materials with goldfish or animal crackers.

Little rogue that he is, he’s taking a few sticks of dynamite to my friend’s house to celebrate World Penguin Day, which is April 25.

Close up of penguin wearing a party hat and holding a few sticks of dynamite.

This card was super easy to pull together and a blast to design. It’s all a single layer, too, embellishments notwithstanding. The penguins in the set all wear ice skates, but a stamping platform and selective inking did away with that. I debated using tiny googly eyes but decided against it: he looks cuter without them.

Stamps:  Mama Elephant “Arctic Penguins
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black;  Hero Arts Butter Bar
Paper:  Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White
Miscellanea:  Scotch Permanent Double-Sided Tape, white glue, two red bugle beads, DCWV red foiled cardstock, an orange gel pen of cheap and indeterminate make, a mechanical pencil, Spectrum Noir Sparkle clear

Card:  3.5” x 3.5”

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Small Trio Layout

Eight whole years have passed since I last posted something here — thank goodness for Blogger’s “revert to draft” feature, or I’d have to delete this blog and start afresh. As things are, I have a nook already prepared where I can publish a little something if I have a mind to share it with the internet. I don’t expect to publish with any regularity, but posting here will, I believe, be easier than trying to use photo site links, so here I shall be.

The reason for this resuscitation? Susan recently posted a lovely card with a color scheme and layout that appealed to me so much that I wanted to mimic it immediately. That was not to be, however: freelance work comes in either a trickle or a deluge, and that week I had more work than I usually see in a month. Card-making was sidelined to such an extent that I forgot about my desire to CASE Susan’s card. When she replied to my comment on Monday, I was just catching my breath after the deluge, and the impulse to craft struck so hard that I sat down immediately and pulled out my stamps and ink.

"Thinking of You" in Nautical Blue, Vanilla, and Peanut Brittle

Another deluge week is falling about my ears now (April was this busy last year, too — something in the air, maybe?), but in the six intervening days I’ve produced five cards, which is a pretty high average for me. Perfectionist that I am, I usually spend about three days on a single card, working on a couple elements each day (planning the layout, testing and selecting colors, stamping and coloring the focal element, creating the base, and assembling the components). But why make only one card if you can make two at once?

"Sending Springtime Smiles" in Soft Cantaloupe, Celadon, and Cyan

Although I don’t have any of the exact stamps that Susan used, I do happen to have a set that contains a bird, a dragonfly, and a butterfly, which made emulating easy. The text background — the main theme of her card — I had to improvise, since I don’t yet have a script background stamp. The larger and more legible words required a more subtle ink, and I realized early on that I couldn’t just stamp whole sentiments across the squares. Figuring out how to stamp selectively inked words around the focal images in a way that looked halfway decent took me longer than I’d care to admit, and I still goofed a few times on the final product. The vanilla ink was forgiving; the cyan, less so. While inking the edges of the cantaloupe dragonfly panel, I dropped it onto my ink pad. There wasn’t any way to salvage the panel without starting over, so I’m just considering it a little extra distressed.

Verdict: This was my first time truly CASEing anything, and it was a good learning experience. For the most part, I enjoyed the process, but I won’t be doing text backgrounds again until I get a background stamp! The selective inking is too time-consuming to employ frequently.

Stamps:  Papertrey Ink “Happy Trails” (images and background words), “Spring Hills” (“sending springtime smiles”);  Hero Arts “Many Everyday Messages” (“thinking of you”)
Ink:  Memento Nautical Blue, Peanut Brittle;  VersaColor Vanilla, Celadon, Cyan;  Hero Arts Soft Cantaloupe
Paper:  Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select White
Miscellanea:  Scotch Permanent Double-Sided Tape

Cards:  6.75” x 4.5”
Squares:  1.5” x 1.5”