Saturday, February 20, 2010

One day ... four sketch challenges!

It's official -- I've caught the challenge bug. I hear it's highly contagious. Just one innocent little sketch challenge can infect you with creativity and a burning desire to get your craft on. I know because it happened to me. :-) I have lots to show you, so I'd better get to it.

First up is CPS#154. For you non-crafters, the challenge usually involves a sketch you use as inspiration for your card (see below). You can read about the challenge and find links to the other participants at the CPS website.

Here's my interpretation of the design. The plaid cardstock was my jumping-off point. The card is a light sage green. I layered cardstock in burgundy and two additional shades of green from the plaid. I found three rich burgundy buttons in my stash, tied them with raffia and layered them on punched circles.

Supplies: DCWV (sage green cardstock), Imagination Project / Chloe's Closet (plaid c/s), QuicKutz (all other self-adhesive c/s), Xyron adhesive, glue dots, buttons & raffia.

Next stop on the challenge train is Crazy 4 Challenges. The sketch for C4C25 looks like this:

Another cool sketch!

And, here's my take on it. I was still feelin' the sage green from the previous challenge, so I went with it. One of my favorite things to do is mix patterns. The only three colors used on this card are red, green and black. The red flower is made of thick wool felt.

Supplies: Imaginisce (red, green & black graphic c/s), QuicKutz (dark green self-adhesive c/s), Hampton Art (sentiment stamp), Ranger (black ink and clear embossing powder), Prima (small flower), Brenda Walton for K & Co. (sage green rhinestones), Suze Weinberg (wonder tape), additional c/s, felt flower, rhinestone brad, Xyron adhesive, foam adhesive.

All aboard! There are still two more stops ... er, challenges to go! Next up is Card Patterns Sketch 52

This one was definitely out of my comfort zone, and I thought I was in trouble. I did some shopping in my own store to see what I had on hand. Like most of you, I've got -- dare I say -- too much stuff. Nah, who am I kidding? There's no such thing. Want to see what I found?

This Scenic Route chipboard set seemed to fit the bill. When I bought the set, I was planning to use the main girlfriends embellishment on a card. Now I had a reason to use the two square pieces, along with the 12x12 border that I cut in half. Finally, I've made a dent in that set!

I call this card, "Girl Power." The outer message says, "You are kind, beautiful, smart, genuine. I am kind, beautiful, smart, genuine." For the interior message, depending on the recipient, I like either: 
  • We must be related! (or)
  • Are you sure we're not related?
Supplies: Bazzill Basics (cardstock), Scenic Route Paper Co. (chipboard set), Provo Crafts & Art Accentz (Terrifically Tacky Tape), glue dots.

And, last but not least is the SSS44 challenge from The Sweet Stop. I love using flowers on my cards and have lots of different styles and brands. This challenge, I figured, should be right up my alley.

I had used a few of these glittered chipboard flowers before and didn't have enough of just the pink or white to make the entire card. So, I layered the pink & white, alternating them in each square. In the center, I added a large gem -- light pink on the white flowers and a darker, purplish pink on the pink flowers. The photo doesn't do this card justice. It's very girly-girl with lots of glittery goodness.

Supplies: Creative Memories (raspberry & pink cardstock), Making Memories (Shimmer Jigsaw pre-glittered chipboard flowers), Zig marker (aubergine), gems, glue dots, foam adhesive.

Thanks for looking! I'd love to know which card is your favorite and why. Comments and questions are always appreciated!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Card inspired by Olympic snowboarders

Last night, like most of you, I watched the Olympics. I rejoiced when skier Lindsey Vonn won the gold medal and winced as some of her competitors tumbled down the treacherous slope. My favorite event, though, was the halfpipe. With his amazing aerial feats, snowboarder Shaun White is captivating to watch. A few minutes into the event, I found myself noticing the bottom of each snowboard. The graphics were really cool. I was so intrigued that I hit the rewind button on the DVR remote and caught a quick freeze frame of Shaun's snowboard. It had huge letters placed in different orientations, and it sparked an idea for a card. I guess you never know when inspiration will strike.

Since I wasn't making this card for anyone in particular, I decided to keep it gender neutral. I used large black letter stickers to spell Happy down the side, alternating the orientation like I had seen on Shaun's snowboard. To add a graphic element, I layered border stickers over the straight edges of the letters. Then, I added rub-on stitches that reminded me of Shaun's aerial loops. I kept the rest simple, just adding a corner rub-on and three metal dots.

I used more letter stickers on the inside to complete the Happy birthday greeting. As a finishing touch, I repeated the stitching detail from the card front.
In the end, I think I would've liked it better if I had used all caps to spell Happy. However, I'm still shopping in my own store, and the capital A's are on backorder. :-)

Supplies:  Bazzill Basics (cardstock), Making Memories (alphabet stickers), Penny Black (border stickers), Stitch-in-Time (rub-on stitches), 7 Gypsies (paisley rub-ons), Colorbok (metal dots)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Papertrey Ink Challenge & "Card Candy"

I'm participating in my first paper crafting challenge, and I'm very excited. Papertrey Ink has a new line of stamps called Studio Style, which you can see here. The images and sentiments are perfect for crafters! My favorite stamp says, "We're actually supposed to use our supplies?" Paper crafters are notorious for hoarding favorite papers and embellishments, which is silly when you think about it, yet something that I fully comprehend.

The challenge is to make a set of 4-6 floral embellishments and adhere them to a sheet of acetate. Then, make a card using one of the same flowers. The idea is that you would tuck the sheet of embellishments into the card and send it to a fellow crafter. Genius, right? As it happens, some of us who frequented the Paper Crafts magazine message board had done something similar a couple of years ago. We called it Card Candy. We'd make the embellishments according to a theme, adhere them to a sheet of acetate and package them in a cellophane bag with a cardstock topper. I still have many of them in their original packaging because, of course, they're too cute to use. (I know ... I'm working on it.) Without further ado, here's my entry:

Supplies: Maison by Brenda Walton for K & Co. (patterned background paper), DCWV Old World Stack (purple patterned cardstock), Bazzill Basics (black cardstock), American Crafts (ribbon), Cricut George and Basic Shapes cartridge (flower cutouts), bling unknown.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside....

While I was doing a bit of reorganizing this weekend, I came across a Christmas card from my friend Lindsay. It featured an adorable snow globe perfectly suited for recycling. After designing this card, I was in the mood to create more. You might say I was frost-bitten with inspiration. Southern New England had been lucky enough to avoid a major blizzard that had charged up the East coast. My hands were chilly, but there wasn't a flake of snow in the air. We've been pretty fortunate so far this year in terms of snowfall (as I knock on wood).
I chose this card base because it coordinated with the green and light blue in the recycled snow globe and repeated the circle element. There was one circle on the card that was too bold and would've detracted from the overall look. That determined placement of the snow globe. Because the card recipient prefers bright colors and is a fan of pink (but not red), I chose to punch up the color with raspberry cardstock.

Supplies: My Mind's Eye (card base), Paper Magic Group (recycled Christmas card), Creative Memories (raspberry cardstock), Avery (round tag), American Crafts (ribbon, sentiment rub-on), Stitch-in-Time (stitches rub-on), Xyron adhesive, EK Success (3D dots), Glue Dots International (glue dots).

This is a card I made two years ago when I was participating in a winter-themed toss with other paper crafters. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, some paper crafters swap their handmade creations or supplies with other crafters to get new ideas or supplies. Each swap is hosted by someone who is responsible for receiving and redistributing the items so everyone in the swap receives one complete set. A toss is a little different. It's a random act of kindness (RAK) to a fellow crafter. People who are interested sign up, and the list is distributed to all participants. Each person sends an item via snail mail to whomever they choose on the list. You may or may not receive anything in return. For the winter-themed toss, I had created tags using the same supplies as on the above card. The inspiration was the Basic Grey cardstock that featured snowman heads in a grid pattern. I simply cut them apart, applied a single one onto a tag in the same color palette as the card and tied on a length of fiber.

On this snowflake card, I used three items I received in a swap: embossed white cardstock, large white snowflake and blue ribbon. The snowflake is made of a thick, glittered plastic, which adds dimension to the card. It's mounted on a square of highly reflective silver cardstock, but the photo doesn't do it justice. The blue ribbon is trimmed in silver and printed with tiny silver snowflakes. The card was made with Bazzill cardstock.

The black & white patterned paper was the basis for this card. I tore a couple of strips to expose the white edge, then layered it with bright pink paper. I tied a length of fuzzy pink fiber around the card twice and tied it in a knot. It reminds me of a warm, cozy sweater, which is a good idea because, baby, it's cold outside....

Supplies: Bazzill Basics (white cardstock), Rebecca Sower for EK Success (crinkled bright pink), black & white paper and fiber unknown.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thank You cards

Have I mentioned yet how much I love my Cricut? It's the biggest single investment I've made in my paper crafting hobby, and it has been worth every penny. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I love how it gives me precise, repeatable cuts. (I always rely on it to help me mass produce a card, like at Christmas.) I'm a little embarassed to admit this, but I found two (gasp!) unopened Cricut cartridges as I was shopping in my own "store" on Sunday.

This card started out with a happy accident. I was trying the "New Arrival" cartridge for the first time and wasn't sure what size I wanted to cut the "thank you." I used a piece of deep purple, textured cardstock from my paper scraps assortment and, voila, it was the perfect size. I knew I wanted to punch up the color; so I used lime green American Crafts ribbon and layered plastic flowers by Queen & Co.

Although these cardstock squares could easily have been made with the Cricut, I used "sticky swatches" by The Scrapbook Wizards in shades of green. The sentiment is an epoxy sticker from Creative Imaginations.

Basic Grey's "Jack Frost" cardstock is the basis for this card. The light teal cardstock is by Bazzill, and the sentiment is an American Crafts rub-on. The silver accents are Stampendous stickers. I picked them up on a business trip to England many years ago. This was  before scrapbook stores became ubiquitous. Like any self-respecting paper freak, I researched the area and found a rubber stamp store. A few Tube stops later, I was spending my free Saturday afternoon in paper crafting heaven.

Monday, February 1, 2010

All Occasion cards

My favorite cards to make are the "just because" cards that you can use for any occasion. They're great to have on hand if you need a quick thank you, birthday, get well or thinking of you card. Here are a few I made recently.

The patterned cardstock is Making Memories Cosmopolitan collection, the flower is by Me & My Big Ideas (Soft Spoken line) and the chocolate brown satin ribbon is from my stash. I love the blue, brown and cream color combination. The patterned cardstock was definitely the inspiration for this one. I reach for this collection again and again.

To this cream linen card base, I added a strip of pink cardstock by Flavia (Peaches and Pomegranates collection). The squares are color-blocking "sticky swatches" from the Scrapbook Wizard. The polka-dotted Prima flower sits atop a larger one by Build-a-Blossom. Of course, a little bling in the middle doesn't hurt a bit.

This simple card is a variation of my go-to style ... pattern + solid + ribbon or cardstock strip separating the two. My crafting goal this year is to spend more time outside my box. First, of course, I'll show you a few I've already made that are definitely inside my comfort zone. The fun "hot lips" cardstock is by DCWV. Their Rockstar mat stacks incorporate foil; so, I used glossy pink and black cardstock to keep the look consistent. This card speaks to my inner rocker chick.

 The male version of the "hot lips" card ... we'll call this one "guitar dude." Of course, it's really gender neutral. But, I have enough trouble designing cards for teenage boys. So, this one's for the guys.