December 13, 2014

Christmas Snowflakes

Still working on Christmas cards - 115 down - 56 to go!  

Today I'm excited to switch up my card a bit for Suzy Bee's Challenge - Anything Goes with a Twist - the twist this week being snowflakes.  So am substituting my poinsettias with this sweet and intricate snowflake from SVGCuts' free Snowflake Tag file.  This snowflake would be an awesome accent for a winter wedding invitation!



You've got to see the detail in this snowflake. So delicate - but unfortunately, because I chose a busy pattern for my stocking, had to include a shadow to show off the detail. Lovely, nonetheless.

December 7, 2014

Christmas Stocking Card

Hi, All!

I absolutely adore the Christmas card basic design that I am using this year.

This weekend I wanted to create a Christmas card using my basic design, as well as include the "twist" for Suzy Bee's Anything Goes Challenge #58 - with a twist.  Suzy Bee's twist is Spots or Dots.

To add dots to my design, I embossed the stocking cuff with a dotted folder.  :)

Enjoy - and join the fun by adding your dotted card to Suzy Bee's Challenge.


December 3, 2014

Playtime Winter Penguin Release - 2 Cute Ink

After many Christmas stocking cards - I haven't quite tired of them yet.  But mixing them up some.  2 Cute Ink has been offering free digital stamps each month for those who receive their newsletter...along with a monthly challenge.  Join in the fun by signing up for 2 Cute Ink's newsletter.

Here is my entry for this month - using the free digital Playtime Winter Penguin.  


November 12, 2014

Christmas Stocking with Poinsettia - and Little Reindeer

Hello, Everyone!

I'm afraid my blog for the next several weeks will be Christmas stocking cards - as that's what's on my plate - probably until New Year's.  But I'm continuing to use up my scraps for these cards - and loving all the different non-traditional color combinations.

Today's blog of creative inspiration contains a card made using the colors orange, yellow, and brown - for 2 Cute Ink's Color Challenge #119.  


Be sure to visit all the Color Challenge projects - add your own for a chance to win some digital images from 2 Cute Ink.

November 5, 2014

Happy Holiday Card

Don't you just love the happy colors of spring -- all the blooming flowers and beautiful butterflies.  I do, too - so I've decided to begin my Christmas cards using non-traditional colors - most of the papers coming from DCWV's Garden Party paper pack.



Now through probably New Year's Eve, I will be putting together Christmas stocking cards (inspired by Sara Miller from Heartfelt Creations).  I plan to begin with these amazing spring colors - But I have lots of paper in my stash, so I will be making lots of stockings with all kinds of colors to suit anyone's taste.  I have simplified the card somewhat - as I have 200+ cards ahead of me!

A few days later . . .  here are a few more cards.  Now I am on a mission to use up scraps - whether Christmas themed or not.  I'm loving my cards and all the different combinations.







November 3, 2014

Christmas Card

Hi, All!

So my Sizzix eClips died last week...after doing a little research, I decided my best bet was go with the new Sizzix eClips 2.  Here is the first card I made with the eClips 2 - below is my "review" of the new machine.  If you are contemplating moving up to a 2 from the original Sizzix, you may want to read below.  If you have the same papercrafting space issues as I do, the new machine may not be for you.


I was contemplating waiting for the new eClips with bluetooth compatability that was supposed to be released in October (according to You Tube videos by Sizzix).  However, they are not ready to release it yet....and have no release date scheduled.  Since I have over 200 Christmas cards to make, I decided I could not wait.  

I contemplated making the change to Silhouette, since my first Sizzix lasted only 15 months - but after visiting a friend with a Silhouette, there were just enough things that deterred me - first of all, a learning curve (and, again, just as I need to be working on Christmas cards).  While I'm sure I would eventually learn to love the software, with my poor eyesight, I found myself struggling too much to see the images.  And what really turned me off is having to remove the blade housing each time I wanted to change the blade depth.  Hmmm.  My friend also seemed to go through blades much faster than I did with my Sizzix - and I use mine nearly every day.  She seldom uses her machine.  And a quick check on prices shows that the Cameo's blade costs more than twice that of the Sizzix.

Other than the short life of my Sizzix, I was very happy with how it cut.  And I had pretty good luck with Sizzix Customer Service with quick replies to my e-mail requests.  So I opted to buy the eClips 2.

When opening the box, I was thrilled to see no remote control....to me that was a waste of material.  There is a small display on the right side of the machine that I was sure would replace the remote control.  I WAS WRONG!  That display does NOTHING but allow you to cancel your cutting!  You must load and unload the mat from the computer!  My work space is limited.  My computer is on the other side of my craft room.  So now when I load the paper, I can't be by the machine to ensure the paper does not get jammed.  On top of that, the new mat that came with the machine was not packed flat....so the paper would not stick properly.  I need to TAPE my paper to the mat!  Not cool, Sizzix!  I have wasted a lot of paper the last couple days trying to get the machine to do what I want.  Because the paper does not stick to the mat well, I'm unable to plan my project and use several scrap pieces around the mat...making a great deal more work for me.  When I purchased my first eClips, I had a beautiful intricate cut file completed in less than five minutes....with the eClips 2 (and now an experienced user!), it took me hours to finally get the machine to cut the two files shown on this first card.  I am finally happy to report that I was able to make intricate cuts - but I might add I had to change my mat to a CRICUT mat!

Looks like I also now need to redesign my entire room in order to put the two machines together - probably requiring the purchase of new furniture, not to mention moving furniture and reorganizing so much (my craft room doubles as an office for my husband and me).

I truly believed reviews I read regarding Sizzix - that they are "really paying attention to the paper craft world and they understand what paper crafters want" and that "they are a company that puts their customers first."  Well, while that may have been true once, I'm wondering if they are going the way of Cricut and deciding for us papercrafters what we want.  I will keep the machine - not because I think it's great, but because it may be the lesser of three evils.  But my main recommendation stands.....if you are happy with your original eClips, you may want to save some money and stick with that rather than upgrade to the eClips 2.

November 2, 2014

What is Whimsical, Sweet, and Cheery?

I'm stocking my inventory today with fresh and fun cards using an image from Aurora Wings!  Aurora Wings images are full of artsy flair.  this image features a Puppy in a Boot - a soft blackline design that adds a wonderful love of pets to your cards.  

I intended to use this cute image as a Puppy in a SANTA Boot - for Christmas cards.  My intent was to add some holly - but wasn't fond of the results - so am just making simple blank notecards with the image.





November 1, 2014

Suzy Bee's - 2 Cute

DCWV's delightful Garden Party collection is loaded with peachy colors and tea-stained patterns that are soft and beautiful.  Today I get serious about Christmas cards - and was thinking I wanted to go with non-traditional colors for some - this collection is just perfect!  Also since I am facing probably about 225 Christmas cards in the next month, some simple cards like this will help me reach my goal.

I'm inspired by two challenges today:
  • My favorite Saturday challenge, Suzy Bee's.  Today'd challenge is Anything Goes with a Twist - of layers.
  • 2 Cute Ink is now offering a monthly freebie and challenge.
Well, I envisioned the Layers challenge as an opportunity to put lots of scraps to good use....so I layered and layered....and did not like what I saw.  So for my first card, I kept the layers simple - to three.  Nothing special or out of the ordinary...but I do like simple!

2 Cute Ink's November free is Joy.  I stuck with my nontraditional colors by matching the digital colors with my paper colors.  What fun! I love the soft look.  Again - nothing fancy, but definitely simple and quick - which I need to keep in mind as I make the next 224 cards.  :D

So here is my first Christmas Card in non-traditional colors.





October 23, 2014

Halloween Card Swap & Other Treat

Hi, All!

Today I'm taking advantage of a Halloween Card Swap I was in with some amazing cardmakers who follow Lynne at Her Craftiness.  These cards are too fun not to share!  Hope you like them.  I loved receiving them.

For Lynne's card, I love the background paper - not to mention the fun sentiment!  She also sent the treat below - love the image!  You can see more of Lynne's super nice work at her blog - Her Craftiness. (Thanks, also, Lynne, for the "candy corn" treat!)



I also wanted to share this fun card by Janet - I love how the open frame turned out!




Created by Vicky, this card celebrates Halloween with texture and sentiment and designs so fun for Halloween.  She's offered artistic inspiration, sharing her creativity.



Jearise's card includes patterned paper with a fun image - and fun texture with an abundance of googly eyes, colorful twine, and a popped-up sentiment!  We have amazing cardmakers at Her Craftiness that offer tons of inspiration!  More of Jearise's ideas and inspiration can be found on her blog, Lorby's World.




This is the card you can't miss - it is my favorite because I only have time for simple right now....and how simple is this with a B - some eyes - and a bow!  Such a nice, simple touch - yet it pops right out at me!  Great idea, Brenda!



Anyhow, enjoy!  Be sure to visit everyone's blogs for more awesome ideas!

October 19, 2014

October 18, 2014

Pet Sympathy - with a Twist (Pink for Suzy Bee's Bloomin' Challenge)

I am on a mission to finish up an order for pet sympathy cards (one more to go).  Added pink for this card, as today's Suzy Bee's Bloomin' Challenge is Anything Goes with a Twist - of pink.

October 17, 2014

Pet Sympathy Cards

Hi, All!

I have some more pet sympathy cards for you today.  I love this little pup.

For today's cat card, I used Aurora Wings Sweet Dreams digital stamp.  Kadoodle Bug's Puppy Peeker - perfect for this type of card.




October 16, 2014

Colorful Image to Remember Kitty

Hello!

I'm here today with another pet sympathy card.  This time I created a card featuring a pretty kitten called Sweet Dreams.

October 15, 2014

Green Abounds

Good Morning, Everyone!

Happy Wednesday.  Whatever happened to "Ya know what day it is?" LOl!  I know - just could not resist.

I thought I would share with another pet sympathy card I made today - here it is.


I used a digital image from Kadoodle Bug - I was in a hurry, so I used their image as is.  But Kadoodle Bug also offers all their images in .svg files and digital stamps.

The sentiment is just created on the computer using Microsoft Word.

October 14, 2014

Easy Pet Sympathy

Pet sympathy cards are really popular with my customers - and for good reason.  They let your friends know you are thinking of them when they lose their pets.  They don't need to be fancy - today, I want to share an easy-to-make pet sympathy card.


If you make a pet sympathy card, I'd love to see - just leave a link to your blog post featuring your card in the comments below.  :D

October 12, 2014

So Sorry (Pet Sympathy)

Hi, All!

Today's cards continue my order for pet sympathy cards.  Did a little bit of everything - digital stamps and svg paw print files.  The first card is colored with the PrismaColor and baby oil method - actually pretty quick technique.  I see a little bit of baby oil residue around my flower - guess I'll have to work on avoiding that.





October 11, 2014

Suzy Bee's Challenge - Cards to Inspire You

This past week was extremely busy.  After a quick & crazy trip to Las Vegas last weekend, the week just hasn't stopped.  But dropping some things - finished with my One-Stroke class - quitting my day job (but not to become a painter - lol!).  I keep thinking I'm freeing up time - but I find as I'm making plans with others, we are now into February and March!  Guess it never stops.

But, as always, I try to get some cards in on the weekend - and here is the first card I've made in over a week.  It's perfect to let someone know you're thinking of them after the loss of their pet.

I'm also attempting to figure out just what is my favorite way of coloring digis - so you will see more of this little guy as I try to color him using Copics, Distress Pens, Colored Pencils - and whatever other items I've spent all my money on to find the perfect medium for me.  :D  This digital from 2 Cute Ink is colored using Adobe Photoshop.  While I love the perfect blending everyone else gets with their markers - I am thinking I may just end up coming back to this method for my favorite.  We'll see.

Suzy Bee's Blooming Challenge this week is ATG with a Twist - Stripes.  I made this card this morning before checking out Suzy Bee's - but since I had a striped background, am entering it in the Challenge.  Will make more striped cards later today to include.  Be sure to check out Suzy Bee's for some amazing inspiration!

Here is my second card - this time colored using EK Success Pigment Markers.  These don't blend - though with patience you can darken areas by going over them several times. 

Here's card #3 - colored with Copic Markers.  So far - no front runner...LOL!  But because of my heavy hand, I do prefer markers with hard tips.  I find it very hard to "stay in the lines" with Copics - the tips are too soft - but I'm pretty pleased with the pup.



This next card was colored with PrismaColors colored pencils and baby oil.  I think what I especially like about working with PrismaColors is that I don't fear of my ink running out mid-project.  With markers, there really is no way of telling how much ink is in your pen - I'm not fond of refilling - but replacing gets expensive.  With light colors, it's even sometimes hard to even be able to tell if there is ink there.  Of all the images so far, I think the flower looks best using PrismaColors.  I want to add - I just learned about blending with PrismaColors.  Many people use Gasmol or mineral spirits.  In my YouTube search for this, I saw a video for using baby oil instead.  I tried both - I prefer baby oil...the end product is nice and smooth.  With my hard touch, with mineral spirits I tended to blend so hard, I would almost tear a hole in the cardstock.

Okay, last one for the night.  This next card uses Distress Markers.  The YouTube video I watched for this technique uses a craft mat.  I don't keep mine out all the time - it's stored rolled up as I purchased it.  So to pull out this huge craft mat when I want to do some quick coloring wasn't ideal.  I just purchased a Sizzix crease pad - the packing material included two plastic sheets - perfect!  Small enough to be handy all the time.

Now the big question - which method did I like best?  Well, I think I decided it's not the method so much as it is my creative mojo for the day.  Last week I wasn't happy with any method - the impetus for me doing this today.  Today - I liked all the methods!  But I think if I have to pick a favorite, it's going to be the PrismaColors and baby oil.  While I'm "satisfied" with all the results - the PrismaColors actually turned out closest to what I intended.  And while PrismaColor pencils are expensive - they are much cheaper than all the other methods.  I'm sure I will lose pencils long before any of them wear out - and I bought 60 colors at Hobby Lobby for about $15 with my coupon and employee discount.  I think I have a winner!