Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Favorite Things Weekly Sketch Challenge - MFTWSC161 - Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Greetings Friends!!  Thanks for coming by to check out my interpretation of this week's MFT sketch club challenge!
This week I've taken the sketch to create a birthday card for my darling, sweet son who will be turning 8 (gasp!) in March.  Here is the sketch we're working with:
I always seem to struggle a bit when there are circular elements on a card.  I'm not entirely sure why but I sometimes feel that I don't have the right 'something' to add there - besides your basic circle.  I like to try and think outside of the creative box so to speak but THIS week I've had no trouble because I have the fantastic "Free With $60" Mini Delicate Doilies Die-namics that I received from MFT with my $60 purchase.  I mean can you go wrong?!!  The answer CAN'T!!  They are beautiful!!!  
But first, let me back up.  I just took Jennifer McGuire & Friends - Stenciled class so I wanted to try out a new technique.  I started with the funky aqua/yellow background piece you see on the left side of the card.  I used watercolor paper and a Heidi Swapp stencil that I purchased at Michael's.  It's the only one I own...for now.  I've never been big on stencils, mainly because I didn't really know what to do with them, which is why I took the class.  But I digress.  I taped my stencil down onto the craft sheet with my watercolor paper underneath.  I chose watercolor paper because of its weight but I also wasn't sure if I was going to mist this in anyway so I figured I'd give myself the option.  I first sponged on Hero Arts Butterbar ink and then shifted the stencil a bit to the left and sponged Hero Arts Tide Pool ink.  When I lifted it I got this cool mix of the two making it look almost like a blurry polkadot image.  Way fun.  I then inked the amazing MFT Typewriter Text Background in Hero Arts Navy ink over top of my stenciled background.  I adore how the text really jumps off of the panel with the bright colors behind it.
My next step was to create the very back panel.  I chose navy cardstock the MFT Woodgrain Background inked with Unicorn White Pigment ink.  It came out tremendous!!  I coated the white ink with white embossing powder and heat set it.  My son wants a jungle theme party so I love how the woodgrain almost has the look of zebra print to it!!  Perfect!!  
I was so thrilled to use the"Free With $60" Mini Delicate Doilies Die-namics as the circular element!  I used heavy watercolor paper to cut this out with which held together really well as I wanted to keep all of the cut pieces in to have it maintain a solid look.  
I then set to work on the main panel.  I call my son my "sweet boy" so this all came together perfectly using two different sets to create this focal point.  I used Birthday Sentiments and LJD's On The Line.  I first stamped the 'make a wish' in black Hero Arts ink.  Followed by the 'sweet' in Red Royal Hero Arts ink and lastly the 'boy' in HA Tide Pool Ink.  I then used the little candle from the On The Line set in a rainbow order to fill in the bottom.

I stitched around all of my panels using white thread adding a little zig zag on the Fishtail Flag Stax and Layers.  I then stitched around my main layer using red thread to make it pop.   As a last touch I added a sprinkle of gold sequins adhered with a tiny dot of Glossy Accents.
I love how it turned out and I think he will too!!  Now I just have to tuck this away until March!!

Thanks for coming by today!!

Crafty Hugs!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Paper Bag Mini Book - Happy Birthday Dear Friend

Greetings friends!!  I've been hard at work creating a paper bag/manila envelope mini book for my dear friend for her birthday tomorrow.  She and her wonderful family joined us for a few days over the Christmas break at our family home in Maine.  It was an amazing time filled with lots of sledding, hot tub swimming, game time, family time and lots and lots of playtime.

Insider look into my creative process here...I ALWAYS tend to bite off a bit more than I can chew, adding more pages and more layers but I LOVE that uber stuffed look that it lends to the final product.  The only drawback for me - at this moment in my daily life with three kids - one of whom is 10 months - is that it is very time consuming to fill every pocket, space and panel the way I want to fill them.  I started this about a month ago and a few times a week I get to my crafty space to work on it.  But honestly, with the amount of pages and pockets I've created within the base of the book I really should have given myself a lot more time to work on it OR I should have made it smaller.  Because what happens to me during the creative process is that I always want to add "just another something" or another layer or more embellishments making it more detailed. But for this book, for now, I've added just what I wanted to add with the amount of time given.  If I left it sitting on my desk for another few weeks I surely would add more.  So it's a good thing that it's coming with me today to my friend's house to deliver for her special day.  I have taken LOTS of photos so be forewarned that this is a photo heavy post.  All of the dies used are from MFT and 90% of the stamped sentiments are also from MFT.  The other non-MFT products are older rubber stamps that I've had in my stash for literally years.
Here is a shot of the entire book.  I must say it is hard to capture a really fabulous picture of the entire book from any angle so I have taken lots of different views so you can get the feel for this project.  If you're a follower, you may recognize the cover of the book from this post HERE.  I took 4 regular paper lunch bags, stitched down the sides of the bottom flap (which creates a shallow pocket) and alternated them - meaning my first paper bag laying flat had the bottom of the bag on the left, the next layer the bottom of the paper bag was on my right, and so on.  In between the layers of paper bags I have layered large manila style office envelopes.  Before layering the envelopes in, I sealed them and sliced 1/8" off of each end making them open pockets for tags and such to be tucked into.  I scored all of the bags and envelopes so that they would all nestle snuggly together and then stitched down the center with my sewing machine.  If you don't have a sewing machine you could use a piercing tool or crop-o-dile to create holes in which to thread twine, ribbon, raffia, etc to create your binding. 
As you can from this picture I have lots of different textures and colors which bring so much visual interest to this project.  The majority of the album is based in blue and white seeing as it's a winter-ish themed album. I must say, it's really fun to hold and flip through.  It's small enough to easily be able to hold in your hands but large enough to encompass many fun goodies!
I have lots of pictures in this album but I do not have my friends permission to post pictures of her children so I will only be showing you (for now) those pieces of the album that I'm able to post.
This is the bottom of one of the paper bags which creates a nice panel area to work with.  As you can see on the right, there's a picture tucked into one of those shallow pockets created by stitching the sides of the bottom of the paper bag.  With each picture that I tucked into a pocket, I took the opportunity with the real estate on the back of the photo to add inspirational quotes or pretty paper to bring this album to life further. The above panel uses MFT's Sunny Day Doodles  -  Celebrate Life set which is so fun and versatile for so many different projects. It's super fun to color, too!  The background is stamped using the new Woodgrain Background stamp.  Can you say AMAZING!?!?  It's a 5.75" x 5.75" cling mounted rubber stamp (not acrylic) and the coverage it provides is TREMENDOUS!!! You MUST own this.  I colored in the sentiment with my Distress Markers and then coated them quickly with my Wink of Stella glitter pen.
Here, on the back of a photo tag, I added a plain office tag stamped with another new MFT Background Stamp - Typewriter Text.  Same awesomeness as the Woodgrain!  I added another sentiment from the same Celebrate Life as above and colored it a bit with my Distress Markers.  
Here is a shot of the book open, the left page is one of the envelopes, you'll see a tag peeking out of the edge with the gold seam binding ribbon.  Here I've used the same Sunny Day Doodles - Celebrate Life set which is super versatile for a project like this and I've added a few different Die-namics dies - Notched Tag, Stacking Stars and Let It Snowflake.  I chose to leave my sentiment blank as I liked the ledger paper showing through which was cut using the Jumbo Fishtail Flag Stax. I think the Fishtail Flag Stax and Layers are some of the most fabulous and versatile dies that MFT has ever come out with.  If you don't own need to!
Here's the back of another photo tag.  I coated a chipboard bracket in Unicorn White Pigment Ink and then heat embossed with white embossing powder.  It came out thick and glossy looking which gives it some great substance for an embellishment.  I love this paper by Amy Tangerine and I added a tiny sentiment from one of MFT's newest sets Picture This.  (talk about swoon!!)  I intentionally left lots of the tags blank so that my friend could, if she wanted to, jot down thoughts and memories about the trip.
On some of the backs of the pictures, which were of course matted with cardstock, I added some sentiments or inspirational thoughts.  This sentiment above is from the new set Picture This.  I LOVE this's just so true!

If you've made it this far, I thank you so much for hanging in with the plethora of photos I've added today.  I wanted to add that my darling IRL bestie Joanne has a wonderful and easy to follow tutorial on the construction of the Paper Bag Mini-Book and it can be found HERE.   

Thanks so much friends for coming by today!!  

Crafty Hugs!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A New Tiddly Inks Release is Coming!!!

Hi Friends!!!  Just wanted to let you know that my friend Christy Croll - owner and artist behind Tiddly Inks Stamps is having a new release on Monday, February 3rd!!  I've loved her adorable images for years and I get excited every time there's a new release!

I can't wait to see what sweet images are in store!!

Crafty Hugs!

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Favorite Things Weekly Sketch Challenge - MFTWSC160 - Adventure

Greetings friends!!  I hope you're staying warm wherever you are!  It's FRIGID here in the Northeast so it's affording me a bit more time indoors with my babies which gives me a little bit of an opportunity to get to my crafty desk and create with the weekly My Favorite Things weekly sketch challenges!  Here is this week's sketch:
I've made mine into a 5x5 creation.  And for today's photo purposes it is displayed on a white card base.  It is, however, intended for the cover of a paper bag mini-album that I am working on for a friend for her birthday.  
I used a melange of papers that I've had in my stash for AGES.  I used a theme of teals, blues, oranges and ivory as my color scheme.  The album is a winter theme so I kept *mostly* to the cool side of the color wheel.  As I said, this creation is 5x5 and I've used the Reel Life stamp and Die-namics together to embellish my album cover.  I stamped my sentiment onto the Fishtail Flag Stax and Layers Die-namics.  If you don't own these you MUST!  I reach for them almost every time I create.  They are totally indispensable to your crafty stash.
I used my very favorite MFT flower die - Royal Rose Die-namic here in the center of the main flower.  I love the ruffly edge it has!!  I then used two Rolled Mum Die-namics placed together for added volume behind the royal rose.  I had some fun resin flowers and a felt sticker that went really well with my grouping so I added everything with hot glue to ensure that it stays in place. 
As a last sprinkle of fun I added a few scattered sequins.  
I hope you find time in your wintery day to join the talented crew over at MFT for some sketchy fun!!

Crafty Hugs!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My Favorite Things Weekly Sketch Challenge - MFTWSC159 - Let's Celebrate

Greetings Friends!!  Once again I'm squeaking under the gun here for this weeks My Favorite Things sketch challenge!!  Here is the sketch:
I love how basic and crisp the sketch is!  You can go very elaborate but when you're in a crunch for time like I am it's so nice to be able to whip something together when you need it!!  Here is what I put together in under an hour in order to be able to play along!
I used the awesome Mod Borders backgrounds to adorn the Jumbo Fishtail Flag Banner background in a monochromatic scheme.  I used my very favorite Birthday Sentiments for a simple message on the front.
I added the main panel popped up on foam adhesive and I used a twine bow to hold the metal rimmed tag that has a tiny matching star that I cut using the awesome Stacking Stars Die-namics.  I also used the fabulous Chevron Stripes to encompass the lower left element in the most simple of ways.
Even in a time crunch it's always awesome to use the MFT sketches as a clear jumping off point to a quick and fun creation!!

Crafty Hugs!

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Favorite Things Weekly Sketch Challenge - MFTWSC158 - Shine Brightly

Can you tell I totally {heart} the new sketch graphic from MFT???  SO CUTE!!  Greetings friends!!  I'm back today with my interpretation of this week's MFT sketch challenge.  I must admit...for some reason I struggle when there is a large circular element on the card.  Maybe it's because I am out of practice, maybe I don't have quite the right stamps in my collection...I'm not sure.  I love how it came out but I still feel like perhaps I missed the mark a bit.  But I'm putting it out there for y'all anyways!  This is a masculine card for my little brother who is turning 32 next week!
Oh but is this week's sketch:
And here's mine:
When I was in college ( the early 90's) my brother was in middle school and every year on his birthday I would make him a mix tape.  Yes, a mix tape.  Because he was so much younger than me I had the best time sharing my love of music with him.  It was so fun to sift through any cds I could find (mine, my now husbands or any of my roommates) and decide what songs to put on the mix.  I would make a coordinating label telling him what was on the tape and by which artists.  It was always labeled "Ethan's 13th Birthday Mix" or whatever number birthday he was having.  So it only seemed fitting to use Laina Lamb's  Journal It - Playlist stamp and Die-namic combo set for his birthday card this year.  My cardstock base is Neena solar white followed by MFT Black Licorice cardstock and then the houndstooth which I've had in my stash forever and I don't remember where I got it.  I do know that it was from a 12x12 cardstock pack.  The rest of the patterned papers are from Authentique's 6x6 Celebrate collection.
I cut the tape cassette out of the patterned paper & accompanying label out of MFT's Wild Cherry Cardstock.  I inked the label graphics with Hero Arts black ink (amazing coverage with this ink) and after using my powder tool, heat embossed the birthday sentiment with Unicorn White Pigment Ink and heat embossed it with white embossing powder.  
I popped the tape cassette up on 3-D foam adhesive for some extra dimension.  For the decorative strips behind, I used some glitter cardstock that I got from the open stock area at Michael's.  I used sticky back pearls for the accents.  
For the circular element I used Lisa Johnson's - On The Line stamp set I pulled out the 'shine brightly' sentiment, inked it with Gold Glitz craft ink from Tsukineko and clear heat embossed it.  I used my circular punches to cut out the sentiment and then my larger punches to matte it.  I popped the sentiment on foam adhesive.  
When all was said and done, I added a little twine bow in the upper left hand corner to balance out the circular element in the bottom right.  And I must say, I really like how it came out.

I hope you come on over and get sketchy with fabulous gals over at MFT!!

Crafty Hugs!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Favorite Things Weekly Sketch Challenge - MFTWSC157

Greetings Friends!!! 
 I'm back again squeezing in just under the wire for this week's sketch challenge over at the My Favorite Things blog!!  Here is the sketch:
And here is my interpretation using the adorable Sunny Day Doodles - Celebrate Life stamp set.  
I used a technique that I learned over at Jennifer McGuire's amazing blog.  I stamped the image onto heavy watercolor paper using Unicorn White Pigment Ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder.  I then colored the interior of the letters with my Distress Markers and then instead of using water to move the color around, I used my Wink of Stella glitter pen.  The liquid glitter inside the pen works like water to move the color and give it that watercolor effect.  While the glitter coloring was still wet, coated the letters in clear embossing powder which traps the coloring and shine underneath the clear embossing.  This process then allowed me to sponge over top with Wild Honey and Squeezed Lemonade Distress Inks giving the entire image a glowing effect.  
It is a bit hard to capture in pictures but I think in this picture above you can see the shine and gloss from both the Wink of Stella pen and the clear embossing powder.
I used the background from the First Class Friends stamp set (retired, I think) to some tone on tone background stamping using MFT's Wild Cherry Ink.  I also wanted to add a bit more texture to the red background so I used the Stacking Stars Die-namics to add a bit of dimension.  
I added some strips of glitter card stock to the edges to make my focal image pop along with some sequins and another metal rim tag & twine bow combo to balance the entire creation.  My background paper and inspired colors are pulled from Crate Paper's 6x6 'Fourteen' pack from last Valentine's Day.  I had so much fun creating this card and I can't wait to give it to my friend for her birthday!!

Hopefully I'll see you again soon!!

Crafty Hugs!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Favorite Things - Color Palette Challenge #1

Greetings friends and Happy New Year!!  I'm doing my best to find even a tiny bit more creative time during my days now.  I've been so dormant craft-wise for the last year or so with being pregnant and having a newborn but our schedule has been lightening up a bit and we've settled into life with three quite well so I'm doing my darnedest to create when I can!  I was thrilled when I saw the newest color challenge over at the MFT blog!

This first challenge calls for the classic MFT colors - pink, black and white - so appropriate!!
I started by designing the background.  Using heavy duty watercolor paper, I stamped Laina Lamb's Mod Borders - using the arrow pattern repeatedly in Unicorn White Pigment ink and then heat set it with white embossing powder.  I took Spun Sugar distress stain, which is a very light pink wash and coated the paper.  The areas that were not covered with ink absorbed the stain and dried with a beautiful watercolor look.  I love how some of the areas are lighter and some darker as shown in the picture below.  I matted it with MFT's Pink Lemonade Card stock.  
I then set to creating my focal sentiment.  I knew I wanted to make a chalkboard greeting so I reached for the fantastic Birthday Sentiments set using the banner looking greeting.  I first dusted my black card stock with my EK Success powder tool.  When embossing with white powder on black card stock or black powder on white card stock it's helpful to use a tool like this so that no excess powder sticks to areas it's not supposed to.  Often if there is a stray bit of powder I will go in with a very fine paintbrush and flick away any bits of powder that don't belong.  With a chalkboard style I didn't have to be *too* particular as I was going to rough it up after I inked it up anyways.  But it's simply food for thought for other projects;)  After I powdered up my surface, I inked my sentiment up with Unicorn White Pigment Ink (simply THE best white craft ink...ever.) and then heat set the image with white embossing powder.
After my image was dry and cool, I took a small bit of the white craft ink onto my fingertips and gently smudged it around to create the look of chalk dust.  I originally left the image plain but decided when the card was assembled to add faux stitching with my Uniball Signo white gel pen.  Again...THE best white pen...ever.  It actually works!!  I have quite a few different white gel pens and they are SO fickle depending on the texture of the card stock and they often don't work...which can be particularly frustrating when you really need one!  But this one is AHHHHHHHHMAZING!  I promise!  I then matted my chalkboard image with MFT's Pink Lemonade card stock.  I then set to using my Fishtail Flag Stax and Layers to create the multi-layer banner effect sitting just below the main panel - which is popped up on a thick layer of 3-D foam adhesive.  
I used some VERY old patterned paper from MFT (no link as they are no longer available) and some coordinating patterned papers from MME's Madison Avenue 6x6 paper pack.  I cut a bunch of different size fishtail flags and then arranged them in alternating patterns, directions and heights to provide visual interest.  I took the handle of a thin paintbrush and wrapped the flag end of the banners around it to create the curly effect.  I then added a sprinkling of black sequins complete with a rhinestone in the middle adhering both with a tiny dot of Glossy Accents.  At this point I sat back and looked and decided it needed just a bit more of I reached for a metal rimmed tag as well as MFT's Lovey Dovey Sentiments and paper pieced the tiny little open heart onto the tag.  I balanced it all out with a delicate twine bow in the opposite corner and another sequin/rhinestone on the tag.  
I must admit that it felt SO good to sit back and really love the final product!  

Thanks for coming by today!

Crafty Hugs!