November 30, 2012

Babies are a Blessing

This is another baby card I made recently.  I saw the idea in a magazine a year or more ago and had forgotten about it until now.  You fill a bonboniere bag (I got mine at the dollar store, 6 for $1) with confetti (I got a giant bag of shaped confetti from Michaels a while back for a couple of bucks) and glue the bag to the card.  The sentiment is from Fiskar's Precious Baby set, stamped in gold Ultimate Encore Metallic ink.

November 28, 2012

Baby Love Cards

A friend of mine is having a baby soon and we don't know if it's going to be a boy or a girl so I needed some quick baby cards that could go either way.

This card was inspired by a new blog I came across recently, J. J. Bolton.  It's the second card from this post.  I created my own L<3VE file in Silhouette's Studio program, cut out a panel and added baby feet and diaper pin embellishments.  It's super easy and super cute.

Hello Gorgeous!

I made the backing panel for this card months ago but didn't know what to do with it.  I found the technique on another blog.  Unfortunately that must have been before I joined pinterest as I didn't pin the card and so don't remember which blog it was from.

I stamped Hero Arts' Lattice Background in versamark ink on watercolour paper, applied white embossing powder and heat embossed it.  The other blogger then used Tim Hotlz distress markers for the colouring job (these markers act more like ink, running when water is applied).  I don't have distress markers so I used Crayola markers.  As waterbased markers, they also run when water is applied and wipe off the embossed area well so you don't have to be too exact when colouring as long as you wipe the embossed area every few minutes.  In retrospect adding the red was a mistake as the blue and purple ran together nicer.  I sprinkled the card with water and pulled the colour across the embossed ridges a bit with a cloth.  I should have only pulled blue to purple and purple to red, rather than pulling some of the red into the purple.  I also sprayed the card with sparkling mist, so it would shimmer in the light.

The woman, purse and sentiment are from Penny Black's Hello Gorgeous stamp set, inked in black.  I coloured her in with Crayolas and fussy cut her out.  The sentiment and purse are stamped on parchment paper, which I taped to the back of the panel.  I'd intended to have the woman more on the blue side, but forgot when I stuck the parchment down, so here she is. :)

November 22, 2012

Butterfly Swarm

Can you tell I like butterflies?  This is the birthday card I gave one of my sisters last year.  It's various punched butterflies made from parchment paper on a navy blue cardstock base.

November 21, 2012

Calm Seas

This is a card I made for my dad a few years ago.  It was done after a trip to the Creativ Festival in Toronto, where I picked up a ton of shaped buttons. :)

Originally I had high waves in the water, but wisely smoothed them out as they didn't quite fit the sentiment I was going for (smooth sailing).  The birds were leftover curls from one of my punches and the score lines for the insert frame were added with a stylus and a metal stencil I also got at that show.

November 20, 2012

Where To Buy Card Crafting Supplies

When I started this blog I'd meant to give tips and tricks in addition to showing cards I've made.  Well, here's a tip post.

Here are several places I buy my crafting supplies.  Every type of store has their own advantages and disadvantages, which I mention briefly.

1) Dedicated crafting stores - This would be places like Michaels, specialized scrapbooking stores, beading stores, etc.  The benefit to shopping here is selection.  They tend to stock more of what you want - now.  The downside tends to be the price.  You're paying for the right to find your stuff all in one place.

2) The Dollar Store - A great place for paper, ribbons, and embellishments.  The price is right, just check the quality of what you're buying.  I've had mixed results with tape runners I've bought at dollar stores, from horrible to pretty good.  It's also a good place to get basic paint brushes, gel pens, glitter pens, glitter glue, photo corners, small mirrors, etc.  The stores near me are constantly changing their stock.  I found a craft knife once, but haven't seen them since I bought mine.

3) Art Supply Stores - These don't tend to have much in the way of craft supplies, but if you want good watercolour paper, paints, specialty brushes and origami paper, this is where you should go.  They also tend to stock sets of pencil crayons, Copics, etc.  I get my fine line black markers and chunky glitter at these stores.  The prices tend to be high but you're getting quality stuff.

4) Stationary Stores - I was amazed one day, wandering around Staples, to discover they have a scrapbooking section.  The prices for their punches were cheaper (a LOT cheaper) than Michaels.  Alas, their selection was very limited and I already owned the punches.  :(  Still, if you're starting out, remember that stationary stores do stock things like craft knives (and spare blades), paper trimmers, stencils, etc.

5) Walmart - Not my favourite place to shop but they have a decent selection of goods, especially ribbon.  The prices are good and if you like one stop shopping, it can be a convenient place for your basic crafting supplies.

6) Online - I've increasingly started buying my supplies online.  Can't beat the prices, selection or number of stores.  A lot of the stamps I like are unavailable in stores, so you have to go online, often to their site, to get them.  Prices vary.  You can usually find sales and deals with free shipping over a certain amount (depending if you're shopping domestically or internationally).  Just remember, if you're shopping internationally, you might get hit by customs and taxes at the border and factor that into your price.

7) Fabric stores - A great place for specialty buttons, ribbon, lace, zippers and - of course - fabric.  Since the selection is limited to embellishments, it's not going to be your first shopping choice, but it's good to remember that their selection of laces, etc. tends to be different if not better than that of craft stores.  There's a specialty leather store in Toronto that also sells buckles, which are great as ribbon buckles.  Think outside the box. :)

8) Trade shows - An excellent place to find deals and crafting goods at fantastic prices.  The selection and prices are varied depending on the type of show and what exhibiters attend.  Crafting shows also tend to have 'make and takes', which allow you to try new products and learn techniques from experienced crafters.  Bring lots of cash as many places aren't set up for credit or debit.  Also, you'll be inclined to look first and shop later, but once things sell out at a show they're gone.  So better to shop early and get what you came for.

So, where do you shop for your craft supplies?

November 15, 2012

Wedding Card - Inside

I did the inside of this card first, and it took quite a while, both to come up with the idea and then to execute it.  The couple met while Salsa dancing, so I took that as my cue.  I did a card a while back with a pop-up curtain around a dancer and had the idea to do something similar here.

So, the first step was to google salsa dance silhouettes and pick a nice image to make a cut file for.  I found one and traced it into Silhouette's studio program.  Since it needed to be larger than the silhouette on the front of the card, I spent a long time making sure it looked good as a cut file, modifying all the lines and curves so it looked really good.

After getting the dancers, I realized my curtain idea was a bit lame and looked into making the dancers themselves the pop-up.  This was easier to learn how to do than I expected (here's the tutorial I adapted).  The execution, however, was hard.  I had to watch that video numerous times and redo steps several times to make it work.  I also decided to take out the perforated fold lines as the joins were so small I was afraid they would rip if I kept those in.

I cut out my pop-up, made some corrections, and cut it out again a bit smaller (so it wouldn't stick out of the card when folded).

My husband suggested doing the pop-up in gold to match the background and then add the black silhouette on the front to add contrast.  I think it was a good plan, as the non-shiny backing made a good 'sand' for the front of the card.  You can't see it very well in this photo, but the gold really shines  (I used Michael's brand, Recollections cardstock.  The metallic pack is cheap, includes 5 colours and are all very shiny on one side).

I glued the black dancers to the gold paper, then the entire pop-up to the backing paper, one side at a time to make sure it would open properly.  The rest of the card was just a matter of cutting a frame for the 2 stamp sentiment.  I curved the white edges and used an embossing edge punch on the black paper.  The sentiment was stamped with gold ink.   

Sorry, I used so many materials for this card I can't even remember them all, so I'm not doing a supplies list.

And here it is, the inside of my pop-up wedding card, the most difficult card I've done to date.

November 14, 2012

Beach Wedding Card - Outside

As promised, here's the first post detailing the wedding card I made from my husband's friends.  This is the most complicated card I've ever done.  And I think it turned out very well.

It was a beach wedding, so I googled 'beach wedding cards' to see what other people had done.  There are some fantastic cards out there.  I loved the various sandal cards but I actually did the (much harder) inside first, so the outside had to fit what I'd already made, and that meant a shaped card was out of the question.

Then I spotted a 3 silhouette print by Cherry Graphics called Wedding Favor Clip-art.  It's free to download, so I downloaded the image and then opened it in my Silhouette's Studio program.  I learned a while back how to trace images with the software (from one of their blog tutorials), the problem being that when images (like this one) are small or low resolution, your traced image isn't well defined.  So... I spent several hours making sure the lines were defined and the holes (which didn't show up in my trace) were back and properly defined.  Given how small the cut turned out, I probably needn't have worried about it so much, but it did look fantastic.

I originally made a backing paper for this using a pattern derived from the bridesmaids' dresses (with stripes of white, black, red, purple and light blue) but thought it looked too busy with the silhouette, so just cut it out of black and glued it on the back of the gold paper I used for the inside.  My husband thought the brown looked like sand, which seemed appropriate.

Here's the front of the card:
If you look at the original picture, you'll notice that I slanted the couple a bit too much, which is why my horizon is on a slant.  I ended up adding another line there so I had a properly aligned horizon line.  You can also see the little cuts in the palm tree trunks and leaves.  Yeah, that took a LONG TIME.

Tomorrow I'll explain how I did the inside.

November 13, 2012

Punta Cana Trip

Last week I went to Punta Cana for a destination wedding.  The wedding was fantastic and the trip itself very relaxing.  If you'd like to see some photos, I've set up a small album here.  We stayed at the Now Larimar resort and the service there was impeccable.  The cleaning lady we had put flowers on our bed and dresser every day when she cleaned the room. :)

If you want to see the wedding card I made for the couple, come back over the next few days.  It's the most complicated card I've done to date and will take a few days to detail.

November 8, 2012

Thankful Kitties

This is a card I made for the friend who took care of our cats while we were in Germany this May.  We've 2 kitties, one mostly white with a tiny pink nose and the other a unique mix of black and brown. My husband and I have a joke that the kitties party while we're away, hence the balloons. :)

Cardstock: Recollections
Stamps: Stampendous - Fluffles the Cat, Hot off the Press - Stamp and Punch set
Ink: Memento
Markers: Crayola
Ribbon: from stash

November 7, 2012

Jane Austen Cameo

This is a card I gave a writer friend of mine for the publication of one of her books.  The cameo and ovals were cut on my Silhouette SD, with punched butterflies and a dot embossed background.  The text is from Pride & Prejudice and I printed it up myself on cream resume paper.  In the future I'd probably leave the creme oval bare, as the text makes it feel busy.  I also used some Core'dinations cardstock, sanding the edges for a softer look.

Cardstock: Recollections, Core'dinations, resume paper
Punch: Martha Stewart Butterfly and Stamp
Embossing Folder: Couture Creations - Swiss Dots
pearl accents

November 6, 2012

Believe Peel Off Card

Another older card, this believe was my first (and failed) attempt at using peel off stickers on a card.  I didn't realize how flimsy the sticker would be, being so intricate and thin.  I pulled the entire sticker off its backing for this card, not understanding that it would buckle and not stick on properly when I tried to lay it down.  I believe you're supposed to lay the first bit of the sticker on your cardstock and pull it off while immediately letting it stick to your paper (does that explanation make sense?).

Anyway, I haven't given this one away yet, being slightly embarres by how it turned out.  Maybe if I add some glitter accents the misshapen sticker won't be as noticeable...

November 2, 2012

Believe Doily Card

As Christmas is still some time away and I don't want to run out of holiday cards to post in December, I thought I'd post some non-Christmas cards for the next little bit.

This is a card I made quite some time ago (a year or more).  I really liked how it turned out, so I should make some more of these.  The white rim with the embossed roses is from a dollar store doily.  Originally I'd left it blank underneath but decided it needed some contrast (and structure) so added the red cardstock.   I also added some clear glitter glue to the corners of the frame and to the roses (though that may have come after I took this picture)

The corners of the frame were embossed and punched using a 4-in-1 punch I got on clearance from an online store. :)  Unfortunately you can't see the detail in this photo.
Cardstock: Recollections
Stamp: ? I think it's a cheap stamp I got a Michaels.  I'm not sure what brand it is.
Ink: ?  This was done before I got my Memento inks, so it's probably a cheap ink pad I picked up somewhere, or maybe a marker.
Corner punch: Embossing Punch 4-in-1 Elegance
clear glitter glue

November 1, 2012

Christmas Ornament Card Revisited

When I originally did my Christmas ornament card I'd intended to add decorations to the bulbs.  But life got busy and I wanted a card done, so I called it done without any extras.  Well, people commented that they looked bare - and rightly so, so I took the card out and added some glitter glue to the bulbs.  I think it's much better now.  Do you agree?