Fabulous Finds Friday: The Cats’ Meow

Today, I’m obsessed with cute cats.

Here are two quick and easy cards using two different kitties:

WaffleFlower cat birthday 800 DSC_0794

I love this playful cat set from Waffle Flower. Above is just one of the cute kitties from Flora Cat Play.

I die cut the Stitched Journal die from Lawn Fawn then painted a soft blue watercolor wash rectangle. I stamped the kitty in black VersaFine and lightly colored in the images with a bit of grey. Gel pens added color to the cat’s flowers and a Wink of Stella added a touch of glitter.

The background was stamped in Hero Arts Unicorn white pigment ink using images from Spellbinders Designer Series Feather stamp and die set. When everything was dry, I mounted the cat panel with foam dimensional tape.

Stampendous LauBurch Cat 799 DSC_0786

I’ve always loved Laurel Burch designs, so I was delighted to find that Stampendous! has licensed her images for stamps. This was also fast and easy, and came about as I was playing with the stamp, testing it out. (This cutie is from the Indigo Cats set.)

I stamped the cat on watercolor paper with VersaFine black ink, then colored with a mix of Ranger Distress yellow and mustard markers (which I first scribbled on my palette, then picked up with a watercolor brush.)

I added some color with sparkly gel pens. I did a light wash of blue watercolor around the cat and decided it needed more interest, so I used the stencil that comes with the stamp set to add a bit of Ranger Distress blue ink. I trimmed the panel, edged it with black permanent marker and attached it to a top-folding yellow 4Bar card. A few sequins finished the deal.

Have a great weekend! Meow!

Fabulous Finds Friday: WOW! Pearly Powder!

Wow, I’ve been having fun playing with WOW! new pearl embossing powder, which is especially effective on dark paper.

Check it out:

WOW pearls 725 black cardstock DSC_0780

I used five different colors here, all pearl: red, violet, green, white and blue. (And don’t you love that big background stamp? Also from WOW!) I stamped the background using VersaMark ink, then sprinkled on the various colors to get the mixed effect.

Here’s a closer look that catches the light:

WOW pearl EPs 725 reflecting light DSC_0781

The piece is mounted on a shimmery blue-ish card. “Happy” (from Technique Tuesday) was die cut twice from a silver shimmer scrap and mounted on top. So easy.

Next, I wanted to try the powders on light card stock — a very different look. I wasn’t crazy about my first attempt:

 

WOW pearl EP on white 722 a DSC_0771

It actually looks better in the photo because the background looks darker (not white) and I let the light reflect, but in reality, it was too faint for me. (In my next post, I’ll show how I used it in another way on lighter card stock.) So I added some watercolor just to see what would happen: (Not my best watercoloring efforts! Sheesh.)

WOW pearl EPs light xox 725 DSC_0769

Here’s a detailed look with reflecting light:WOW EPs on white 725 detail DSC_0770

I punched the XOXO several times (from a Fiskars punch), stacked the pieces and glued them together using ScraPerfect’s Best Glue Ever. Because I stupidly punched the extra XOXOs from white paper, when they were stacked you could see the white edges. To fix that I colored the edges with a black permanent marker. And of course added that necessary touch of shimmer … black Wink of Stella from Kuretake/Zig. I don’t use the black often, but when I need it, well … )

I’ll have some other experiments in my next post. Thanks for stopping by!

Easy Watercolored Card

A quick card that was easy and fun to create:

Altenew Persian motif flowers 719 DSC_0781

I stamped Altenew’s Persian flowers on watercolor card stock, using grey StazOn ink so I wouldn’t have harsh lines. (And the StazOn is doesn’t bleed with water.) I used Ranger Distress inks to add some soft colors, then trimmed the piece, edged it with a black permanent marker and mounted the panel to a kraft card front.

I added a dash of Zig’s clear Wink of Stella for a wee bit o’ sparkle.

I die cut two pieces of this Simon Says word from the same kraft card stock, glued them together and mounted on the front of the panel. The inside says “birthday greetings.”

Fast, easy and oh, so satisfying!

 

Experiments in Gel Printing

At the Craft & Hobby Association’s Mega Craft Show this year, I met Laurie Karian, who has her own line of gel printing plates at www.gelpress.com.

I’m a relatively new convert to the joys of gel printing but now that I’ve gotten started, I can’t stop!

I was lucky enough to get a 3×5 inch gel plate to play with, and I went a little crazy:

Gelli Art bckgrounds 712 DSC_0768

Look at all pretty pieces! (Did I mention how addictive this is?)

I played around with a variety of acrylic paints, including Americana® multi-surface Satin™ by DecoArt® and Dina Wakely heavy body acrylic paint from Ranger. To create the patterns, I also used a variety of objects, including stamps, bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard.

I really loved using Plaid’s Fabric Creations™ block printing stamps, which look like old-school wooden block print stamps from India, as well as some foam stamps from Art Foamies (which worked really well with the paints).

The small plate was perfect for creating smaller 4-bar cards, which measure about 3 1/2 x 4 7/8 inches when folded). Some I kept clean and simple, some I indulged with stamps, etc. Here is a sampling:

prickleypear 711 gold emb bird cage DSC_0772

The bird and birdcage are from a Prickley Pear stamp/die set. The birdcage was die cut twice, then stacked and gold embossed. The bird has a coat of clear Wink of Stella. The sentiment, black embossed on vellum, is from Hero Arts’ Everyday Sentiments CL497 and attached with a Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher.

Gelli yellow, gold 713 DSC_0804

For this piece, the foam stamp was stamped into the wet paint, removing some of the paint; the green leaves were stamped after the print dried, using StazOn ink. The Dew Drops are from Robin’s Nest and were attached using Ranger’s Glossy Accents.

Gelli silhouette best wishes 713 DSC_0802

Here I cut poppies and a sentiment (both from Elizabeth Craft Designs) and added some Ranger Glossy Accents dots. So easy! (The pattern was made using good ol’ bubble wrap.)

One note I have neglected to mention for a while … I have been using ScraPerfect’s Best Glue Ever for a lot of my gluing, especially of tiny pieces. I’m loving this adhesive!

Stay tuned for more of my gel addiction!

 

A Big Dose of Happy Stamping

I was going to save this stamp for a Fabulous Finds Friday, but I had so much fun playing with it that I couldn’t wait to share.

I am a big fan of Tammy Tutterow’s work, especially her lettering. But I could NEVER do that myself. So I was positively gleeful to find she has turned her handwritten sayings into stamps, available through Spellbinders (here’s a direct link). I love this one, which offers “A big dose of happy…”

Big Happy 708 group DSC_0784

These were so fast and easy to make, I made a big batch, stamping first in StazOn black. I used either watercolors or watercolor pencils and my water pen or Staedtler’s triplus® fine liners to color these in (adding some clear Wink of Stella on the Happy). This was so relaxing and satisfying I couldn’t stop. These worked up surprisingly fast, and I think the sentiment is fun and happy.

This stamp doesn’t need much adornment — here’s one I left plain:

big happy 708 plain spell DSC_0786

OK, maybe it does need more …. here are some I decorated:

Big Happy 708 heavy flowers spell DSC_0789

(The flowers and leaves are from various Hero Arts and Technique Tuesday sets, stamped in ColorBox’s Stephanie Barnard inks. And don’t forget to add the Wink of Stella on the Happy!)

And two more, just for variety:

big happy 708 roses spell DSC_0791

big happy 708 leaves spell DSC_0792

Thanks for stopping by … and hope you have a big dose of happy today!

 

Happy Craft Month!

March is National Craft Month! Imagine, an entire month to celebrate making things!

I’m starting the month right with some cards featuring new “layering” items from Hero Arts.

First up is this great layering die, Large Lotus (Hero Arts DI 161). This die, like the other layering dies in the release (pineapple, star, etc.) is designed to just partially cut an image. (Although it doesn’t have to be limited to  a partial cut, as I’ll show you below.)

HA layering die 701 happy hello DSC_0679

In this card, I used the die as it was meant to be used, with just certain portions die cut so you can pop up the leaves. Cute, eh? After cutting the panel, I decided I wanted to layer on some color, so I created a mask by cutting the die on plain copy paper.

To get the center “hole” I simply cut the flower out by carefully snipping the edges of the outer petals.

Which led to an aha! moment … wait for it…

I colored the lotus using Stephanie Barnard’s ColorBox die inks Banana, Tangerine and Guava. Here’s a close-up:

HA layering die 701 hello detail DSC_0687

I couldn’t resist adding some clear Wink of Stella for extra sparkle.

I edged the white panel with gold Delicata ink and glued it on this Stampin’ Up! card stock (being careful not to put glue on the popped up petals! I added some Doodlebug Designs sequins and the sentiment. “Sending,” (Simon Says Stamp die SSSD111432), was cut from white card stock then colored using a black Wink of Stella pen. The rest of the sentiment is from an old Hero Arts Mini Message set CL307.

OK, now I can show you how I cut out the lotus and used it as I would any other die cut piece:

HA layering die 701 two cut flowers DSC_0680

I die cut the lotus from some watercolored scraps leftover from another project, carefully snipped where the petals were connected to the paper and layered it over this embossed background, the new Em-Bossing Fold’ers Grid from Spellbinders®… such a contemporary pattern! Love it! I edged that panel using a gold metallic marker, added a sentiment (Hero Arts) and some gems.

Here’s another version, again using leftovers (old alcohol ink coloring), and put it on a gift tag using Glue Dots™:

HA layered die 701 hapBirth tag DSC_0648

HA layering die 71 tag w gift DSC_0655

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy a month of crafting!

 

Technique Tuesday’s Lovely Camellia

In my last post, I teased a picture of a new stamp from Technique Tuesday’s Greenhouse Designs — the beautiful camellia.

I admit, I went a little camellia crazy… because the flower is so much fun to color and easy to cut out if you want it just as an element.

Here’s my first, very simple, set:
TechTues 669 group DSC_0657

As you can see, I had a great time experimenting with different coloring techniques. I stamped the flower on plain white card stock in VersaMark embossing ink and used black powder to heat emboss. Then I just colored myself silly, experimenting with just about every coloring agent in my desk.

I used a lot of Faber-Castell PITT Artist Big Brushes, scribbling various colors on my plastic palette, then using my water brush to paint in the petals. I also used my VERY old set of LuminArte Sparkling H2Os** (Sunburst, Yellow Rose, Lemongrass and Moss Green for the yellows; Chiffon Pink, Cherry Sorbet and English Lavender for the pinks/purples.) I love the subtle shimmer. (**I’m not sure who is making these anymore, but you can still find them by checking on the internet. These are a water-based, mica-filled dry paint that is activated with water. So yummy.)

Ducktape Paint Palette 667 DSC_0642
When the flowers were dry, I cut them out (the perfect thing to do while watching TV!).

To make the card base, I ran the front of my folded card stock through this beautiful embossing folder from Stampin’ UP/Sizzix, called Softly Falling. (I can’t wait to use this folder as snow on my holiday cards!) I rounded the card corners using a heavy-duty corner rounder.

TechTues 669 serendipity DSC_0645

Then it was just a matter of adhering the flowers to the card base, using foam tape. On some, I added the lovely Wink of Stella clear to get a little sparkle.

I plan to make several sets to give as gifts. (The sentiment is from Technique Tuesday’s new Random Thoughts stamp set, cut with the coordinating Little Labels dies.)

Here’s a close up, showing off the Wink of Stella glimmer:
TechTues 669 serendipity detail DSC_0646

More camellias to come!