January 31, 2008

52 Cards a Year: Challenge Number Five

One Layer... Any colors... any theme.

I am so into one layer cards lately. So there's no sketch... just a plan. One layer... stamps... multiple colors. Here are some samples to inspire you. Click on the images to enlarge them.

First a card featuring the new "Dreaming of Dots" by Lizzie Anne Designs. Buckaroo Blue, Sky Blue and then some little with dots made with my white Sakura Glaze Pen... a cool way to add some depth to an otherwise flat card.

New Kitchen Sink Stamps baby! This is "Love and Luck"... I also mixed in Playful Alphabet and Playful Alphabet Buddy.

This first card is stamped with Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose and Cool Caribbean. Clear stamps sure make this sort of design EASY-PEASY.

I love this card... Pretty in Pink, Real Red and Black... I did add a few little card candy "blings" by A Muse.

52 Cards a Year: Challenge Number Four... My Sample

Just popping in to let you know I did my homework... Here is MY version of the last sketch challenge...

All Stamps by Kitchen Sink Stamps and they are the new stamps ya'll! (trying to sound like Britney S.) Paper: Whisper White, Real Red, Regal Rose and some polka dotted paper from the Target $1 spot (score!). Ink, Real Red, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, Versamark. Accessories: Glittered embossing powder (unknown maker).

How cool is it that you can BEND clear stamps?!? I slightly curved the XOXO sentiment to make the border around the circle.

I loved this sketch... it was a quick no-brainer.

By the way... what's up with Unfitney/Britishny (depending on if you read TMZ or Perez)... I don't get the British accent and buying a new Mercedes on the day of your intervention.

I also don't get why I care... but hell, she's my guilty pleasure. Along with Celebrity Rehab, Project Runway, Rock of Love 2....

And hey... LOST starts today!!! Hooray! I am still sad that Charlie's dead... anyone else?

One last thought... I miss SNL, 30 Rock and the Office. I wish the writers strike would end. I am dying to see some pre-presidential impersonations!

January 28, 2008

Scrappy Goodness

Just some proof I have been scrapbooking! I am so in lust with this alphabet set from Kitchen Sink Stamps. It's it the coolest?

This is a 12X12 layout... I stamped my title in black... and used Copics to tint... American Crafts... made the stars... Stampin up! chipboard for the flower and circle... I used Love Elsie papers... and these cute little circle stickers from Borders of all places... they are super shiny and I love a good DOT.

See the corner of my doodled frame peeking into this picture? I doodled it on Velum with Sakura glaze pens... I am very happy with the result.

It's a little busy... but I suppose I'm an all or nothing sort of gal.

52 Cards a Year: Challenge Number Four AND a Giveaway!

Patterned Paper as Color Combo: Thank You Card

Sorry this is a tad late... you survived the week without me right? :)

It's still week four... and I am in the zone. I have been stamping like crazy, finishing up projects for my Design assignments, and creating new projects. I was in a little stamping slump this week, so I am glad to be back in the swing! I will have LOTS of stuff for you to see this week!

This layout is super simple... and the color combo is an easy one. See that panel on the left? Use a patterned paper of your choice for that piece... and let that patterned paper be your color guide. I am thinking I need some thank you cards... you can never have too many thank you cards. :)

Stay tuned for my sample... I was too wrapped up in other projects to get to this sketch today.

I look forward to seeing your uploads! I will also be drawing a name from all the 52 Cards a Year participants from this month (drawing will be on Friday). The winner will get this fun collection of valentine stamps!

Thanks again to all of you for playing along!

January 25, 2008


Well... You know "gak" is never good. Here is tonight's bad news... my laptop's screen is busted. It happened during a Lego tower related incident. My husband would like you to know it is 60% my fault, 30% the Lego's fault and only 10% the fault of our precious Anderson.

Life will go on... potty training will continue (it's day three) and unfortunately so does the other crappy stuff that has been haunting me this month... hopefully things will all resolve to normalcy soon.

At least I have been stamping! It's a busy time of year for designers with CHA right around the corner. Top that off with a big scoop of Valentine's Day and it's almost as busy as Tax season is for accountants!

Now for the stamping...

I heart Valentine's Day big time... the red and pink... the chocolate... the card making... it's right up my alley. Over at justjohanna the design team was challenged to come up with a non-card project for Valentine's Day. Here's my take... a good excuse to buy cupcakes don't ya think?

Now I can't take credit for baking these cupcakes... they are from Herb's and they are delicious! Notice how there are only five???

The toppers are made with the Stampin' Up! Scalloped punch and coffee stirrer as a stem. All the images are from justjohanna and are colored with Copic markers.

Are you still waiting for a sketch??? I know... I know. I was on such a roll too. I promise we will have one soon. The week is not over yet! Please stay tuned, and forgive me for not visiting on all your cards and commenting. I thank you all SO MUCH for participating in my challenge!

January 24, 2008

Crappy Week

Sorry everyone... I will be a bt delayed on the sketch this week... things are a bt crazy here... but rather than bore you with the details; here is a card from last weeks sketch! Hopefully I will be able to catch up tomorrow... I stamped a ton tonight!

A Muse Stamps are adorable... need I say more?

January 16, 2008

52 Cards a Year: Challenge Number Three

Large Focal Image: Gray, Black, White and One Other Color: Thank You Card.

Sorry for the delay! I am having some allergy issues that are really knocking me out! You will also have to wait for my samples... I will make mine later today. :)

With this challenge we are focusing on the color Gray being a hot trend... Gray and Pink, Gray and Orange, Gray and Yellow... soft Gray, Charcoal Gray... but be sure to use GRAY and a splash of another color.

This sketch features a large focal image too... it's up to you how to fill that white space. The arrows do not literally need to be ARROWS... try flowers or hearts... maybe stars... brads, buttons or felt embellishments... just 3 of something that matches.

Post your creation on your blog or favorite forum... and don't forget to leave a link to your creation here!

And remember... there are no rules! If you don't want to make a thank you card that's ok... or you can incorporate some other colors if you feel like it... just try to stick with the basic concept so we can all be inspired!

January 13, 2008

A Valentine's Day Gift...

Perfect for a teacher or co-worker... this little Conversation Heart Box!

I attached the full, unopened boxes of conversation hearts edge to side with sticky strip (red liner tape), then I made a belly band around the box to decorate it. I used a white coaster (but any chipboard/cardboard would work) for the bottom. I used sticky strip to secure that too.

I filled the box with candy, wrapped it in cellophane and tied it with a ribbon. Done!

All stamps by Lizzie Anne Designs.

January 11, 2008

Strawberry Topiaries: an Ode to Spring!

Oh spring... where art thou? These strawberries from justjohanna make me long for crocuses and chirpy birds. A perfect image to color with a Copic marker don't you think?

This first card uses a perfect flocked paper... I don't know who makes it... it was in the bargain bin at Target. :)

Don't you love this sky blue with red and black? Delicious!

Sorry I don't have a lot of details today... if anyone has any questions about these cards I'd be happy to answer them tomorrow.

January 9, 2008

52 Cards a Year: Challenge Number Two

Let the Ribbon Choose the Color: Color Combo Based on Ribbon: Valentine's Day Card.

This Challenge is a simple one. If you are like me, you have gobs of ribbon lying around just calling your name. Let's try to use some of it shall we?

When I design a card I tend to reach for stamps first, then paper, them embellishments. This time you will grab for ribbon first! Use the ribbon as the color muse for your card... all your other colors should match the ribbon... not just *complimentary but MATCHING. Stay tuned for a challenge specific to the complimentary color concept.

The heart shown here in the sketch is a total suggestion... feel free to use any focal image or shape. As usual (see rules for Challenge One) this does not have to be a Valentine's day card, but as a BONUS challenge (and an extra gold star for you) try to select ribbon that may not shout "Valentine's Day" to you... and as Tim Gunn would say; "make it work".

As usual please upload your designs to your blog your favorite gallery and post a link here so we can all see your stuff!

Have fun!

This little ditty features stamps by the uber-cool Elly. You can (and should) buy them HERE. My ribbon was from the $1 bin at Target (score!). Ink is Tempting Turquoise and Rose Red... and an orange Sakura Glaze pen. Paper is Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise and Summer Sun. I added a little glitter to the stamped heart... and a googly eye.

For the Rock Star in your life... The rock star ribbon is by Die Cuts with a view and was 50% off at my Archiver's (double score!). The red polka dotted ribbon was from Hobby lobby... I have no idea who makes it. Stamps by Amuse... brads by who knows who... stamped image was colored with a Copic marker. It's basic and cute!

*Complimentary colors are colors that are opposite from each other on the basic color wheel. Shown on the left is a simple 12 color wheel. On this wheel blues and oranges compliment each other, as do purples and yellows, and reds and greens. Complimentary colors are known to look good together... BUT as pigments they would not mix well. For example, if you mixed orange paint and blue paint you would get mud. On the other hand put orange paint NEXT to blue paint and the result will be visually appealing.

January 8, 2008

Happy Cupcake to You!

Happy Birthday to all you New Year babies out there... here's a little something I came up with for a special B-day card. I bought these candles probably 2 years ago just to make a card like this... and well... I never did! Then I received this wonderful Stamp Set from Kitchen Sink Stamps; Happy Birthday Cupcake and BAM! Inspiration hit me!

Can you mail it? Probably not... BUT it would be perfect to give by hand. The scalloped focal image is framed by a cupcake sleeve... and it was a bit too large, so I trimmed it up with my coluzzle circle cutter.

Paper: Surprise Sprinkles by KI Memories (double sided), Tempting Turquoise, whisper white and a cupcake sleeve. Ink: Brilliance Platinum Planet, Pink Passion. Accessories: Turquoise polka-dot ribbon by unknown maker, Birthday candle, Iridescent ice EP.

January 7, 2008

Oh, Valentine's Day....

Yay! The next BIG holiday is all about Love and Chocolate! Among my favorite Valentine's Day stamps is this set "Heart to Heart" from Lizzie Anne Designs. You can't beat a set that has the basic heart thing happening...and then some fun cool images like a heart with wings.

Oh... Before I get into the deets on these cards... be sure to check out the new releases that came out from Lizzie Anne today! Some super cute sets! I ordered up Dreaming of Dots, Out of this World the pirate and cupcake singles... I love the set "Far East" too. Check out their new look at the website too... They even have a new Chat Forum! Good times!

On to the cards...

You don't get more basic than this card... Pink and red stamped on white. I used my Key Tag Punch to make a peek-a-boo window for the sentiment.

This project is a tad more involved... The inspiration for this card was antique quilts. First I used my Scor-Pal to make a 1/2 grid on the card front. Then after a lot of sponging and aging with a series of brown inks I stamped the hearts with Real Red. The rest of this card is really about the tag... the stitching was done by first piercing the word in with my piercing tool, then I sewed the embroidery thread in by hand. I also added a little stitch through my twill tape too give it a little punch.

January 4, 2008

Why I Rock...

Because I made my own blog banner... that' s why! Check it out!

Don't ask me HOW I did it... I really have no idea.

January 3, 2008

Doodle Frames...

Here are some fun justjohanna cards. These are from my "doodle frame" period. :)

I drew these frames with a black sakura glaze pen. The glaze pen gives a raised, almost embossed effect... which I think gives my doodles have an "I-meant-to-do-that" sort of look.

The inked images were tinted with Copic Markers.

Why do owls always look like they are about to start some trouble?

January 2, 2008

52 Cards a Year: Challenge Number One!

Simple Horizontal Stripes: Black or Gray and White: Birthday Card.

Recently at a family gathering I had occasion to visit with my uncle; J.D., a talented artist living in the Austin area. We were chatting about painting and where to start if you are thinking of diving in on your own... or getting back into painting. He suggested buying a blank canvas, a gallon of white latex paint and a gallon of black... and going to town... not worrying about color; only design, composition and texture. I think this will be well applied to card making too!

So that's your assignment in a nutshell. Using only black, white and gray tones, create a birthday card. I will simplify the assignment further by adding a super basic sketch; this horizontal line design. 6-8 lines of varying tones and shades of blacks, grays and whites... use patterned papers, solids, ribbons, stamped strips of paper... all in various thicknesses, to create your design. Incorporate a birthday related sentiment if you can.

Here is the sketch...

Here are my samples:

This first card uses all Kitchen Sink Stamps. It's pure black and white... and features lots of bold patterns and hard textures. My own personal criticism of this card is that it's a tad top heavy... that bold image in the top stripe sort of draws my eye away from the sentiment... which I think needed to be the focus of this card. This is actually why I decided to add the element of depth and texture close to the sentiment with the addition of the brads... which absolutely helped.

I really like the variety of patterns in this design, and how the black and white color ties everything together.

This design was created with justjohanna images. I used a lot more gray in this design... using black only for the scroll at the bottom and for the sentiment. Choosing the darker color for the base of the card helps keep in grounded and using black for the sentiment helps to make it pop. In turn, balancing the black with a light toned gray and a charcoal gray helps the lightest tone to also become a focal point... which is why the birds also stand out even though they are the lightest of the images. Of course placing the birds toward the center of the card also helps draw your eye to them.

I also used negative space to draw the eye around the card. Leaving white space around the sentiment and the birds brings the images forward, even though this is a one layer card.

Lastly... this card created with images by Lizzie Anne Designs. I used mainly grays and vanilla in this card. Only the stamping was done in black. You will also note I created the design in a horizontal layout rather than vertical.

It's easy to spot the focal point of this card; placing the party hat/gift patterned stripe in the center, making it significantly wider than the other stripes and matching the paper to the sentiment really helps to make them pop. Plus, I used only one patterned paper on this card, so there is not much to distract your eye from the focal images. Notice the gray dots I used in the focal image stripe? They were stamped with a pencil eraser, and added because I felt that there was too much negative space... especially because I was only shading the hats and gifts... not coloring them.

The Challenge Rules: This being the first assignment... let's chat about rules. There are no rules! Feel free to mix it up; make a card of a different theme... make a vertical sketch horizontal... whatever you please. The goal of these challenges is to help you expand your creative card making, to motivate you to try something new each week and to encourage you to share your work.

That's right... you must share! But don't worry if you don't complete the assignment this week... as soon as you create your card for this, or any assignment, share a link to it here in the comments. You can post it on your blog, or on your favorite message board.... just share a link with everyone here whenever you decide to jump in and play!

I hope you will join me... I am really excited about this series for 2008... if just to keep me thinking outside the box!

Have fun!

January 1, 2008

Welcome 2008... Yada, Yada, Yada...

I don't know why the phrases "blah, blah, blah" and "yada, yada, yada" seem to fit so well with the new year... maybe I am a tad twisted. Anywhoo... Happy New Year!

I love how the Kitchen Sink Stamps are so graphic and contemporary. I am constantly wanting to use them for one layer designs... in fact, I often have to push myself to add layers. In this case I added depth with color, image layering and unique embellishments... all wonderful substitutes for using papers to create depth and textures.

Ink: Brilliance Rocket Red (for extra "pop" and to make the red layer super SOLID), SU! inks; Brilliance Blue, Gable Green, Yo-Yo Yellow. Stamped on a White Card from Paper Source. Accessories: Jingle Bell, Silver Cord, Red Organza Sheer Ribbon.

BIG NEWS: I have a 2008 Challenge for you (and me!)... I will be offering one sketch, color combo and theme per week... each Wednesday. I will also be discussing some basic concepts of design, composition and color. If you complete each challenge you will have 52 cards made, and hopefully you will learn a bit more about your own style and improve your design skills! So please check back tomorrow for the first fun challenge for 2008! Beginners, non-stampers and non-card-makers welcome! I hope you will all play along!

I wish you all a healthy, peaceful and joyful 2008.