More Watercoloring

In my last post, I played with an old “ink and drag” technique using Art Impressions stamps and inspiration.

This card, also an Art Impressions image, still uses watercolor techniques, but in a more traditional way — stamping and coloring.

AI Watercolor 663 car DSC_0595

I stamped the image in Imagine Craft’s Memento Tuxedo Black on the smooth side of Ranger/Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper. To create my colors, I scribbled Faber-Castell PITT Big Brushes on an acrylic sheet. Using that as my palette, I picked up the colors with my water brush. I love how the colors came out — vibrant and easily blended and shaded.

I ran a piece of mint card stock (Paper Source) through an embossing folder (We R Memory Keepers/American Crafts), trimmed and mounted it to a top-folding card base. I mounted the car image on foam tape. So fast and easy! I love the way the Art Impression images lend themselves to my watercolor obsession — the images do all the heavy lifting and I get to color!

I’m also very happy with the color from the Big Brushes and will be using them more in my watercolor journey!

Thanks for popping in.

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Random Acts of Cardmaking

Another play date, another attempt to clean up my desk. Here are random cards made from the “slush” pile — everything was found on my messy desk or in my box of bits and pieces:

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This card sat around a loooong time. So long that I don’t remember who made the paper. The stamp is from Hero Arts, the doily from My Favorite Things and the sentiment from Technique Tuesday.

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The torn paper “water” is Core’dinations cardstock (left over from another project), the fishes (I think!) are from Judikins and colored in with gel pens. All I added was the sentiment, using a small alphabet set.

Next is a true hodgepodge of pieces.

bird hello 336 with random pieces DSC_0308

Bird Hello 336 DSC_0323

Not my favorite card, but at least I used up some pieces! (Background paper by Basic Grey, bird stamp by Hero Arts, and the embossing powder is Zing! from American Crafts.)

One more:

cityscape 599 b&w DSC_0554

I’ve always loved this wacky cityscape from Hero Arts. This was stamped in black and fussy-cut. The cloud background is a Darice embossing folder. Sentiment, an old one from Hero Arts. Easy peasy.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Evolution Revolution

Oh, my, how the Evolution die cutting machine has evolved!

The new and improved version, the Evolution Advanced, has several performance-enhancing features (and it still does letterpress — yay!). One thing I really love is the smaller footprint — the platform folds up so the machine is more compact, making it easy to store (you can also remove the handle.)

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I must admit, I found it tough to pull down the platform panels. But once I did, I found that the bottom suction cups (which become engaged when you pull down the panels) were nice and strong. And I LOVE the storage compartment in the platform.

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The machine still has all the features that make it a wonderful tool — it die cuts and embosses and is compatible with most other dies and embossing folders. The Evolution also has a letterpress kit, sold separately, but a valuable addition. I love the look of letterpress and am anxious to try my letterpress platform in the Advanced.

The Advanced has a new dial system that adjusts the height of the rollers, changing the pressure. The idea is that you don’t have to bother with a variety of mats (just the base plate and one mat). I found the dial stiff and hard to turn, but I’m hoping it will be easier the more I use it. The dial is supposed to eliminate the need for extra mats and shims, but we’ll have to see if mine gets easier to turn. Once I figured out the right dial level, the base plate ran through like a dream.

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One other cool option — a motor! Yes, you can buy a plug-in motor that runs the whole shebang for you. This will be a boon to anyone who has hand issues.

Here is a quick tag I made using the dies that come with the machine and an embossing folder I’ve had for a while:

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The Evolution was originally sold by Lifestyle Crafts, then by We R Memory Keepers, and now by American Crafts.
Here’s a good video that shows what the Evolution Advanced can do:

What are your thoughts on die cutting machines?

Thanks for stopping by!

The Last of the Valentines!

Ah, sigh… it’s finally Valentine’s Day. I had so much fun making and sending Valentines to my girlfriends. My friends are heart-felt treasures and life would not be the same without them. When I looked at the big stack I had to send, I thought, “What a lucky girl am I.”

Enjoy the last ones ….

Most of these were fast and simple:

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I adore this feather set from Close to my Heart! I could make a dozen of these cards, leave off the greeting, and have a stack ready for any occasion! The feathers were stamped on white card stock using various shades of mostly Hero Arts Shadow Inks and a blue Distress pad.

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This, too, was fast and easy using the CTMH Oodles of Doodles set, Hero Arts inks and Hero Art hearts (embossed using American Crafts’ Zing powders). The pretty sequins are from Lawn Fawn.

A clean and simple card using a die from Hero Arts:

valentine 534 HA heart die red DSC_0442

And just to prove that crafting is not a perfect art, here’s one from my Imperfect Crafter side.
It’s actually cuter in person than it appears here. I needed ONE more Valentine, so I grabbed some leftovers on my desk. I’m showing this card because I always tell my workshop students that there are “no mistakes in crafting; only design elements.” So warts and all, here she is:

valentines 531 heart , flowers DSC_0444

I was anxious to play with this tissue paper from Hazel & Ruby. And being the Impatient Crafter, as well as the Imperfect Crafter, I tore off a piece and glued it to my card base. I had a die cut heart that did not cut all the way through so I disguised the bad part with the Prima flowers. If you look VERY closely, you will see, peeking out from the upper left hand ventricle, part of the heart where it didn’t cut all the way through. But do we through anything away? Nope! We just carry on!

Thanks for bearing with me, and I hope everyone has a sweet Valentine somewhere. Have a fabulous Friday!

Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a safe, fun New Year’s celebration … and here’s a toast to a happy, healthy 2014!

Christmas went by so quickly — with so much to do (and don’t even get me started on Hannukah, which was so weirdly timed this year) — that I only had time to send out .02 cards. So I caught up on New Year’s, but I put them in the mail so fast, I didn’t take any photos! Also, I didn’t make many, so I turned some of my plain generic cards from my stash into New Year’s cards. Here are two:

NewYear 523 city scape DSC_0427-1

The cool paint dripping background stamp is from Hero Arts, inked with Ranger Distress Inks, spritzed with a bit of water. The Penny Black cityscape was heat embossed with American Crafts’ Zing teal. Yum. All I did was stamp a bunch of Happy New Year sentiments, cut them out and pop them on with dimensional foam. Thank goodness for my stash of un-marked cards!

NewYear 523 mosaic DSC_0428-1

Last month I cut up a bunch of paper odds-and-ends and created these diagonal mosaics. I love this technique. So fast and easy, and it feels SO good using up scraps!

Happy New Year, everyone. And thanks for stopping by!

Color Me Scrap Happy

So much paper … so many possibilities! I am trying to curb my hoarding tendencies by using up my stash. I am s-l-o-w-l-y making in-roads. Last weekend I decided to grab some fun paper that I have had for a while and … JUST. USE. IT.

I pulled out some very retro papers from Sassafras Lass and went to work. My goal (besides using up the paper!) was to create fast and easy cards that I could send to Operation Write Home. First up: cut the paper, all of it, and create card bases. I’d worry about decorating them later!

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I took some other random scraps and cut a bunch of pieces using my Spellbinders Grand Calibur and random dies:
scraps 425 sassafrass lass  DSC_0342

And the finished cards:
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(stamped images from American Crafts Sing Along 59212)

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scraps 425 atomic hello DSC_0345
(ooh, I was so lazy here…I couldn’t find the stamp I wanted, was in a hurry and just used a white gel pen to write “hello.” I may re-do this one. The stickers came with the paper set.)

Thanks for coming by!

More Valentines

A day away from Valentine’s Day … I’m having fun using several of the new items shown at the Craft & Hobby show.

(Like these new Thinlet dies from Sizzix)
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This card was so random. It began because I was playing with some new Thinlet dies from Sizzix… you know how that goes.
So here’s how it happened: I tore open my new package of Sizzix Thinlits dies (658952), grabbed some paper scraps (from the Paper Source) and played. The scraps hung around my desk for a while until the teal cardstock magically appeared next to it. Then I had to play with the new glitter cardstock from American Crafts, and since I needed Valetine cards, I dug out a VERY old Sizzix die (one of the first dies I bought.)
Here’s a close-up of the heart:

Valentine blue glitter close 395 DSC_0331

The sentiment (Hero Arts) was white embossed, then cut using a Spellbinders Labels die. I edged it in blue, but didn’t like that so added Stampendous! Pearl Lustre Moonstone powder. The arrow (from the same Sizzix set) was dabbed with Tsukineko gold Delicata ink.

One more:

Valentine 3 hearts on black DSC_0319

The red heart is from another new American Crafts glitter stock (this one corrugated, yum!); the bottom heart was stamped with an old Hero Arts heart and sprinkled with Judikins Aegean Silver glitter (love the look of that.) The gold heart is from scrap paper. The die cut hearts used that old Sizzix die. Sentiment from Paper Source, cut using a Spellbinders Labels 8 die; ribbon from Creative Imagination.

I’ll have one more Valentine card tomorrow, also featuring a new, unique die. Thanks for stopping by.

*disclaimer — several of these items were provided by the manufacturer.