Friday, September 21, 2018

Thinking of Charlotte

Hi again everyone! This time I'm back with a card that I made *deep breath* just because I wanted to. πŸ˜‚Something I'm working on is the unreasonable expectations I put on myself. Every craft project I make has to have a "reason" besides just doing it for the dang fun of it, or my Type A side is like "WHY. ARE. YOU. WASTING. TIME." πŸ˜‚ So I spent a few slow days just putting a card together that I made just because I felt like it, and for no particular reason! I know, novel concept, right? 😜

I call this card "Thinking of Charlotte" because of the sentiment, and because I painted the amazingly adorable cat to look like my baby kitten Charlotte. Well... I guess she's not a kitten anymore. 😒She just recently turned 1 year old. 😭

My cats are both not the easiest to color (the other being a calico), so I like to try to paint pretty much only their coat colors when I color cats, and to get more and more accurate with their coloring every time. [It was at this point she thought to herself, "what was wrong with the simple orange tabby kitten she could have picked out? One color. Some wiggly lines. That's it."] πŸ˜‚BIG jokes though; Amelia (the calico, not pictured) chose me. She's one of my best friends and my sweet baby!

Here's little Charlotte, the superstar of this post. Of course I had to include her! You can compare the coloring on the card to her coloring. On the left is the first day we got her, at 8 weeks old. On the right is her sassy face at right around her first birthday, a few days ago! Same little gremlin face almost a year later!

And so, on to the card! I just picked up this Waffle Flower stamp and die set, "Smiling" at the beginning of this month. I had been wanting a few more WF sets after loving their "Color Swatches" set, so I got this and another I have yet to debut. 😜

I didn't really know where I wanted to go with the card at all, so I started by stamping the large cat-and-flowers image in VersaFine Onyx Black ink on watercolor card stock, because I did know I wanted to watercolor it. 

I started with Charlotte first. I'm so experimental when I watercolor. (That's my way of calling myself "inconsistent" nicely. πŸ˜‚) I used my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors, and I did very little mixing. I like to try to use up leftover paints from my mixing palette, so that mostly determined the colors for this card. I had some purple leftover, and I knew I wanted Charlotte to have a pink ribbon, of course. She is her mother's baby, after all. πŸ˜πŸ’–

After stamping all the additional flowers in the set, I watercolored those as well. At this point I had the idea that I wanted the flowers to be "exploding" from behind the main cat image. I just felt the card needed a little something more. I had mixed a lot of pinks and purples for coloring the flowers, and I wanted to use more of them to tie the colors all together.

I used one of my Sizzix Scalloped Circle dies to cut a piece of watercolor card stock. Then I completely saturated the watercolor paper and went to town! I just dripped in puddles of pink and purple with a large-ish (want to say maybe an 8?) fairly saturated round brush. I kind of moved it around, let it do its thing, and then let it dry in the sun. I think it came out pretty cute!

I used a piece of watercolor paper I had previously washed with a sort of mint color as the base, to bring everything together. I wanted some sparkle, so I gave it a wash with my Gansai Tambi White Gold watercolor. It gave it a really subtle, silver shimmer. I then cut the face down with my Kat-Scrappiness wavy stitched border die and adhered it to a pre-cut card base that I'm almost positive came from a Simon Says Stamp monthly kit, because I never pre-make card bases in colored paper. πŸ˜‚I don't know why the mint and purple just sang to me, but it did!

Then it was time to get things poppin'... up with foam tape. 😜I put two pieces of really wide foam tape behind the purple scalloped piece, and I made sure to leave room along the edges. I adhered the cat die cut to somewhere around the bottom of the circle, in order to leave room for the sentiment. After placing the cat and circle piece on the card face, I arranged some of the flowers around the top, to look like they were bursting out. 

Lastly, I embossed "thinking of you" from the Smiling set, and went into a my Hero Arts stash for a sentiment from "Everyday Sayings." In the picture above you can see a bit of that subtle shimmer! I had so much fun making this card. I really took my time and just did what I wanted!

Thank you so much for reading, and if you'd like to be notified when there's a new post on my blog, use the subscribe feature on the right. Happy crafting!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Golden Roses Engagement Card

Hi everyone! Today is going to be a really quick blog post because I was hoping to have a video of it up on my BRAND NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL woo! Don't get too excited; there's only one video at the moment. However, I will have the video for this card up hopefully sometime this week. I hope you don't mind the sparse content in this post! This card is an entry for the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, the theme of which is "pop it up!" This is also an entry for the MFT Sketch Challenge 402. Below is the given sketch:

I needed an engagement card because my younger cuz just got engaged! 😁 I'm so happy for her! Luckily I had recently bought my first few wedding-related stamp sets, because I needed to make a wedding card for the first time recently. Lots of first occasions when you've been crafting less than a year! πŸ˜‚I used Lawn Fawn "Happy Wedding" stamp and die set for everything but the background.

For the longest time, I've been wanting to use my Simon Says Stamp "Modern Rose Blooms" background stamp and emboss it in something metallic. As you can see, I did just that with some Versamark, and Ranger Fine Gold embossing powder. Using my Kat Scrappiness "Wonky Wavy Stitched Border" die, I cut down a piece of card stock that I would use to stamp on. I made a background pattern using a few images from the Lawn Fawn set. I also used the coordinating die to cut out an engagement ring to use as the center piece. While I was die cutting the engagement ring, I also cut two pieces of craft foam which I used glued together along with the stamped image of the ring to give it quite a bit of dimension. I used Copic markers to color everything.

To bring in the gold from the background and make the card feel more cohesive, I used my Ranger embossing pen to color a few of the hearts in, then embossed them in the same gold as the background. The sentiment was two combined: "congratulations" and "you're engaged." I also used the included exclamation point at the end of each to give it a little more "oomph." 😁 I stamped all of the sentiment in Versafine, then heat embossed it all with Ranger clear embossing powder. 

Finally, I assembled the card by adhering the stamped piece to the embossed rose background with some thick foam tape. I then placed the dimensional ring in the center of that. I used my ATG on half of the sentiment that would go onto the stamped piece, and supported the part on the background piece with two 1/4" foam squares.

That's it for this quick post! Thank you for stopping by, and make sure to subscribe using the feature to the right if you're interested in knowing when my blog updates. Have a great day!

Monday, September 3, 2018

MFT Sketch Challenge 400

Hello again! Welcome to the first post on my blog for the month of September! I'm back with another entry for a My Favorite Things challenge, this time sketch instead of color. This is my entry for the MFT Sketch Challenge 400 as well as the current Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge. The sketch provided for this week's card was the following:
Image courtesy of MFT Challenge Blog

Very sadly, I only have two MFT stamps sets (need to rectify ASAP!), and since I just used one of them, "Bubble Over With Joy," for the last challenge, I thought I should use my other one, "I Knead You" for this challenge. I've already made at least one card where the focal point was the repetition of the small images from this set. They're just so cute, and they're classic cat icons! So I thought I would like to make vertical lines out of repeating those small stamps.

I also thought of a few other decorative ways I could add vertical stripes. Washi one of the frontrunners, but I decided to use my favorite medium lately, watercolors! Using my Mijello Mission Gold watercolors, I made a five-color rainbow using just a swipe or two from a small-medium flat brush.

I then picked the stamps I wanted to stamp over the watercolor stripes. I surprised myself by picking one of the kitties, but he was so vertical (well, horizontal at the time lol) and cute I just had to. So, once the watercolors were thoroughly dry, I stamped one of the mice, the sleeping cat, the fish, the fishbone, and the other mouse respectively from right to left.

I knew from the start I didn't want to color the stamped images; I wanted the watercolor stripes to be the main focus, but I felt it could use a little more dimension, so I used one Polychromos colored pencil per image (the one that I felt most closely matched a "shaded" version of the watercolor stripe behind it) to give some areas just a little bit of shadow and dimension.

For the sentiments, I decided to combine "I love mew" with "You left a paw print on my heart. I stamped "you left a paw print..." with Versafine black ink and heat embossed with with Ranger clear embossing powder. For "I love mew," I simply white heat embossed in on a black piece of card stock, cut the inside edge into the little banner shape inspired by the original sketch, then adhered it below my previously embossed sentiment.

That's it for the relatively simple card. It was almost one layer if it hadn't been for that pesky black card stock sentiment I just can't NOT use for some reason. πŸ˜‚ Have you played along with this week's challenge? I'm cutting it closer to the deadline than I normally like, so I'm sure I'll be one of the last ones playing. Happy crafting everyone!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Blue and Persimmon Bubble Kisses

Hello again everyone! I'm back with something different for me. I've never done a challenge by My Favorite Things, and I've never done a color challenge before (I don't think? πŸ˜•). It was exciting and a little difficult, I'm not going to lie. I am entering this card in the My Favorite Things Color Challenge 100 and the current Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge. This was the color palette provided by MFT for the challenge: 
Image courtesy of the MFT card challenges blog
For the first two blue colors, I immediately thought of the new Stormy Sky and Tumbled Glass Distress Oxide inks that I got in the August Simon Says Stamp monthly kit. Kraft is a pretty easy given, I think, but I very rarely use kraft in my card making, and I have no idea why. I guess I just sort of forget it exists sometimes? πŸ˜‚ The curve ball to me was persimmon. I'm honestly not a very adventurous color mixer (perfect challenge for me to participate in, huh?) and I would never have thought to mix an orange-y red with two pale blues. But I love the result!

I started by heat embossing a piece of kraft card stock with clear embossing powder using Simon Says Stamp's Diamond Pattern background cling stamp. The result was cute, but it ended up looking mostly like brown embossing powder to me. I don't know if that's a thing? πŸ˜‚ I was hoping it was look somehow.. cooler? It does look pretty neat when the gloss catches the light, though! 

I then did some Distress Oxide resist ink blending over the clear embossing using Stormy Sky and Tumbled Glass, working from opposite corners to meet in the middle. Honestly, I think I'm having trouble with my Stormy Sky ink pad. Maybe it's meant to be a rather translucent shade, but I can't seem to get it to look much different than Tumbled glass. Or to look like anything, really. Maybe my ink pad is dry? So I was hoping for a little more blue contrast in the background, but that's okay! I then cut the piece down using the second largest frame from my Kat Scrappiness Wonky Wavy Stitched Rectangle dies. Then I adhered the piece to a plain kraft A2 card.

I decided to use my MFT Bubble Over With Joy set for this one, since the blue reminded me of the bubbles. I heat embossed two bunnies, and two "hollow" bubble sets onto kraft, then stamped three "solid" bubble stamps using Stormy Sky, also on kraft. I also used a white gel pen to color in the highlight area the stamps for these bubbles. After die cutting them all out, I did a little bit of light coloring with Polychromos colored pencils. I colored the bubbles blue with white highlights and I gave the bunnies persimmon-ish dresses (or as close to it as I could get with my limited selection of pencils) then just lightly did some highlights and brown shadows, as these just happen to be cute little brown bunnies. 😜 I also gave them little pink ears and cheeks because look at them! How could I not?! 

I heat embossed the sentiment "best wishes and bubble kisses" from the same Bubble Over With Joy set. I used black embossing powder on some colored card stock that I think was the exact right match for the challenge color! I cut it down to a rectangle and used foam tape to pop up the sentiment in the center of the card. Then I adhered the bunnies and bubbles using Tombow Mono liquid glue. 

No card of mine can go un-sparkled, so I got out my Spectrum Noir shimmer pen in "aquamarine" and put little dots at the intersections of the embossed pattern, and made a simple line frame around the edge. I wish the color was a little less teal and a little more powder blue, and even though I used a ruler I still had some accidental flicks out of line. But all in all, I'm pleased with the result, and I'm proud of challenging myself. I'm just being an annoying perfectionist as usual! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜ Has anyone else participated in this challenge? Anyone finding any of the combinations a little testing or that your creativity is being stretched? Or has anyone else created something cool with this stamp set? I'd like to know in the comments! 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Witch Kitty Shaker Box

Hi again, readers. As I'm typing this I'm staring at a large, strange bug on the outside of my window and it's rather terrifying. So proceed with that in mind. πŸ˜‚ Today, I have a really cute little halloween treat box that I made using the Lawn Fawn Fancy Box die. This is an entry for both the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge - Fall/Autumn, and Wednesday challenge - Anything Goes.

I started by cutting the main box piece from some double sided patterned paper, using the little space and stars pattern as the outside of the box. I knew I wanted to use my new Mama Elephant Meowlloween set, so I decided to make the little witch cat fly through the air on her special golden broom.

Before assembling the box, I used the coordinating oval window die that comes in the Fancy Box die set to cut a hole in the  top of the box because I wanted to make a shaker. I haven't made a shaker in a long time, so I was slow and confused most of the time, but it came back, just like riding a bike. 😜 I cut a piece of acetate the same size as the box lid, then glued that directly to the inside of the box lid. This waas the front window of the shaker, Then I placed foam tape cut into thin strips along the edges of the acetate to make a raised area and seal for the shaker contents. I did two layers of this. Then I threw in some gold glitter, and black and orange seed beads. Like I said, I haven't made a shaker in a hot minute, so now I'm wishing I had added more shaker goodies!

I then cut another piece of acetate the same size as the first (the size of the box lid) to serve as the back window of the shaker. I could have used a piece of patterned paper or something, but I wanted the goodies inside to also be visible from the outside through the shaker window. However, this posed the problem of the foam tape showing. I happened to have some washi tape that was about the same width as the foam tape I needed to cover up. It was white and black thin stripes and to me, the inside pattern of the box kind of had an old-school wallpaper vibe. Like something you might find in an old abandoned Victorian-era manor. When I combined the washi with the patterned paper, I got major Haunted Mansion vibes. Anyone else? Kinda spooky vintage? Just me being weird? πŸ˜‚

Next, I heat embossed the witch cat from Meowlloween in black, and the broom and "boo to you" sentiment from the same set in gold. I put this card together over a few days, so I started by watercoloring the body of the cat a dark grey.

Then a few days later, when I was ready to finish the coloring, I had already put my watercolors put up and didn't want to get them out again (😩 leave me alone! lol), so I decided to color in just the little details left with my Polychromos colored pencils. It was fortuitous that I embossed the gold elements on black card stock, because I think colored pencils pop much better on black versus white! I just used a purple for the details on kitty's hat and dress, and a brown for the broom. After all the coloring, I fussy cut everything out.

I then put a foam square on witch kitty and stuck her in the left corner. I put another foam square (what can I say? I'm a sucker for dimension πŸ˜‚) on the square I had cut out with the "boo to you" sentiment, and adhered that to the bottom right. Finally, I used just a bit of Multi Medium Matte on the bottom of the cat in order to adhere the broom, to make her look like she was flying through the night sky.

I thought the night sky needed some twinkle, so I used a few Pretty Pink Posh "metallic gold" gems to give it a little more sparkle. And last but not least, what's a treat box without a little treat? I save up my lollipop treats from the Simon Says Stamp monthly kits for when I get a sweets craving, and these are two of them! So thanks for the props, Simon! πŸ˜‚ And a big thank you all for stopping by and reading about this project. Happy crafting!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Slow Down For Coffee and a Good Book

Hi again everyone! This week I have a card using one of my favorite products to play with lately - the Lawn Fawn scalloped pop up box die. I know it's been out for a minute, but I only got it within the last few months... and only gathered up the courage to try it out recently! πŸ˜‚I may or may not have a slight fear of three-dimensional cards due to a complete lack of spacial awareness on my part 😜. I combined quiet a few companies' products for this card, which is something I love to do. It can sometimes be challenging to make the various styles cohesive, but I love it! This card is an entry into the current Lawn Fawnatics Challenge 35Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

The theme of this card is to slow down and take a minute (or a few hours πŸ˜›) out of your day to sit down with a nice book and a good cup of coffee. Or tea, which is usually the case for me. (I type as I literally sit here sipping a latte. 😩) I'm a huge fan of reading. Books were my main companion for most of my childhood, and I'm always reading at least one, but usually around two to three books at a time. Something that makes my heart soar is that my husband was a self-proclaimed reading hater when we first met, and I've turned him into such an avid reader, he devours about a book a week, if not more! So when the Mama Elephant "book worm" stamp set came out a while ago, I had my heart set on it.

My local stamping store has a great selection of Mama Elephant products, and I usually treat myself by going there once a week, if for nothing other than to browse and make myself happy. Every time I went, I looked for this set, and it was never there. But lo and behold, two days ago I had a really difficult doctor's appointment that my husband knew I would need cheering up after, so he took me to the stamping store and they finally had "book worm" in stock!!! It was such serendipity. I was thrilled. I had no idea what to make with it at the time, though πŸ˜‚.

It seems like there are a fair amount of coffee and tea themed stamp releases coming out lately, but I haven't gotten any of them. I love to participate in challenges, and a lot of them were doing food/drink themes, so I had to "get crafty," pardon the expression 😏. I found the most perfect patterned paper at Hobby Lobby, and I had some book-patterned paper left over from one month's Simon kit. I want to say the paper may be Pinkfresh? It's only barely visible in photos, but I cut the box and structural supports out of some dot-embossed kraft card stock from Bazzil that I got in a random grab bag months ago. I then covered the "inside" panels with the coffee cup paper, and covered the "outside" panels with the book paper. I used both book stacks, and three little reading animals from "book worm", and as the pièce de résistance the sloth in a coffee cup from Art Impressions' "sloth-some" set. I also used the "slow down, enjoy your day" sentiment from the "sloth-some" set.

For some reason I agonized over the medium to color these with. I was really low energy and strength, so I usually go to Copics for that. But I knew they would bleed and the backs would be visible on this particular project. I eventually settled on my Faber-Castell Polychromos colored pencils, which is funny because in my opinion they require the most physical effort of my usual coloring mediums. πŸ˜‚I tried to pick up colors from the coffee patterned paper, and kept the animals relatively neutral since I knew there would be a lot going on. I had to fussy cut everything, because even though I was lucky enough to snag the "book worm" stamp set, (which the lady at the store told me they can not keep in stock) they didn't have the coordinating dies. 😞However! I persevered, then glued those little bad boys on with my favorite Tombow Mono liquid glue
to make a scene. In the good way. πŸ˜‰ Finally, I heat embossed the "slow down, enjoy your day" sentiment in white on black card stock. That seems to be my trademark sentiment application these days, but I can't help it! It's so versatile, and I just like the clean, modern look.

That's it for this little book-y, caffeine-y box of goodness! I'd like to know what your "easiest" and "most effort" coloring mediums are. Tell me in the comments! And if you'd like to know when there's a new post on Handmade by Inez, subscribe via email using the sidebar. Thanks so much for reading, and happy crafting!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Simon Says Stamp "Back to School" Challenge

Hey everyone! I really stepped out of my comfort zone for this card. I'm unsure how I feel about the outcome, but I'm proud I stretched my creativity! I made this card for this week's Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge. The theme is "back to school." Now, I don't have any kids, so back to school time was not on my radar. Since I just started card making this year, I haven't even had the occasion to give a back to school card to anyone.

I don't even have any little kid or people stamps that I could throw together into some semblance of a school scene! So I initially said, "well, I'm going to have to sit this challenge out." Somewhere during a Hulu binge, the idea for a chalkboard just hit me over the head like a ton of bricks! I also thought maybe I could use white embossing powder to emulate chalk. I am not a distress-er y'all! I have no idea how to make things look "natural;" I'm always trying to making things look supernaturally uniform. πŸ˜‚I finally said to heck with it and tried an experimental run. My fist thought was to pat down some Versamark, but I realize it would just completely adhere the embossing powder, and I'd get big white squares. Not the look! So I just sprinkled some embossing powder around without anything to adhere it to, but knowing how embossing powder likes to stick with static I thought it might work. I was pretty surprised with the outcome!

I wasn't really sure what to put on the chalkboard, so I decided to use my We R Memory Keepers alpha punch board to make up a little "ABC" to look like it was written in chalk. I distressed the edges with "black soot" Distress Oxide ink to try to make it looked like it was chalk lettering kind of wiped away/messed up. For the wooden frame of the chalkboard, I re-used the face of a woodgrain envelope I was hand-lettering "Christi" onto but ended up writing "Chisti." LOL. But shh, that'll be our little secret. 😜

I was vaguely thinking of trying to find something pencil-y or chalkboard eraser-y in my stamp or die stash, and while I was searching, I saw the little studious kitties from the Mama Elephant Little Cat Agenda set and knew straight away those were going on the card! I colored a little trio of tabbies using Copic markers in primary colors to up the school-like feel. Then I die cut them and sent them on their merry way as chalkboard decor! πŸ˜‚

And that's it for this week's SSSW challenge. Thanks for stopping by and reading, and make sure to subscribe to my posts if you never want to miss one. πŸ’–