Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Snowman!

   Happy almost New Year to everyone!  Of course, this is as close as we've been to snow since Octsnowber...paper crafted images on paper with bright, swirly colors!  [Have you seen the movie, "Elf"?  I cannot hear, write, or speak the word "swirly" anymore without conjuring the funniest images and laughing out loud!  'I like to whisper too....']  You'll understand if you've seen the movie!  [oh--and the link takes you to a favorite movie website of mine too!]
   I used a bunch of scraps for my holiday cards this year...didn't get to them in time for Christmas greetings, and decided to go with Happy ______ [fill in the blank with whatever makes you happy!]  I had some of these pieces of blue embossed paper I made last year for a color challenge over at the Hero Arts blog.  They've been in my scrap [cardboard shoe] box since then.  I made some fresh snowmen [my favorite one in my extensive collection of them] and proceeded to build some fun.  I discovered a few tricks along the way I thought I'd share in case you could use them too!
   I liked this layout the best of the set...thought it balanced well, and I really like how the snowflakes turned out--that's the first thing I discovered while making these.  I wanted just the same color as I'd used in the marker to color the scarf, and found out that just drawing some lines on photo paper scrap not only dried instantly with my water-based markers, the technique will lend itself to a variety of free-hand designs I plan to experiment with later!
   Here a couple more I made for the set using the marker, snowflake punch, inchie punch and layering ideas.  Also used my marker to add some color to the swirly [hee hee] background just like I did in this card and this one.  The second trick I used was to cut off the fringe of the scarf [instead of embossing two new snowmen since it didn't take as well as it could have] and I like the way it looks too!  [Don't you sometimes have the nicest accidents, and discover things in the process of covering them up!?!]
   Lastly, the best trick I use all the time and always try to share with every stamper I meet, is an old newspaper layout one.  I wonder if most modern newspaper folks even know about this old method what with computers and such now....Introducing:  The Dummy Sheet.  That indispensable, visual/sanity check for layouts of all kinds.
   These handy 4.25 x 5.5 inch recycled paper beauties are kept in vast quantities on my desk near my right hand for all stamping projects.  I can run through any number of them while experimenting to find the look I'm after on a card.  These are the ones I used to develop the snowman set, and I never worry about wasting my good cardstock trying to find the right proportions for something.  When I get a new stamp set, I'll make several of these and keep the ones I like for later use.  I save my dummies of all the cards I love and only end up making one copy.  Sometimes I'll get them out years later and make them again...especially if I need a quick card and my brain is tired!
   So--thanks to my mom and dad who used to own and publish a small newspaper when I was in high school!  I use tools of the trade all the time in my hobby life--my mom is still a terrific graphic design artist...something that didn't used to have such a fancy title;  she used to be the one to work up ads for all the businesses that supported the paper and they were always pleased with the results!
   Hope you found something useful, fun, and/or informative today!  Thanks for visiting--and know that I wish health and happiness for you and yours in the coming New Year!  
   See you soon!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Celebrate CAS!

   Good morning everyone!  There is beautiful sunshine in the Northeast for us to go out and stamp our day!  Starting with a CAS [Clean and Simple] card for our piano teacher!  It's Hanukkah and I love using these Hero Arts Snippets to fashion a special design.  I also decorated the envelope ala this week's new CAS-ual Fridays challenge to Sign, Seal, and Deliver!  We do this every week for our 'yen-velope' [a name we picked up living in Japan where it is customary to wrap everything up like a present!]  I usually make a seasonal card, leave it blank, and Rani can give it to whomever he chooses.  It is always fun to hear where my cards have traveled since he corresponds with people all over the world!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sending Cheer!

   
   I must confess that I am supposed to be painting...but there's so much to do in the holiday category around our place along with the house work.  We're starting to receive some wonderful greeting cards in the mail, and I need to have something to send out!  So, I used the Hero Arts contest sketch and their clear set called Sending Holiday Cheer to make a few little greetings of my own!  I've been anxious to use these holiday lights that have been in my stash since I first began stamping about 13 years ago.  For this first one I was inspired by a fun card in bold colors by my friend Judy!  
   I tried the faux letterpress technique for the center panel in this red/white one.  I inked up a Sizzix texture plate with red ink, then ran it through and this is the result!  Pretty fun to do and easier than I thought it would be!  I embossed on red for the contrast and layered on some dimensional foam.


   Here's the green version--colored the red accents with colored pencil, and the green ink is Hero Hues Grass chalk ink!  I like this hue of green for the holidays!
   Finally, a sage and bright red version with a 'gingerbread' house.  I plan to use this with a plate of cookies going to the neighbors!  Of course I need to make the cookies still....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Poles: Fence, Dance, and North...

   Here are the poles for our high-tensile wire fence around "Applevale."  No--as we informed many a curious neighbor--we do not plan to run cattle, nor keep horses; neither do we expect to keep the deer out of the back yard [for that we'd need about a 10-footer I think.]  It's just that 8 feet are the shortest 5-inch poles one can purchase at the Tractor Supply.  Why a high-tensile fence?  A fraction of the number of fence posts, [i.e. every 50 feet instead of every 8] and the 'see through' look.  Now that it's finished, we're really pleased it looks like a pasture instead of a fortress compound around the two acres.  
   Now--the Dance.  [This was forwarded in an email from our Texas 4-H friends and the title in the subject line was rather suspect, "Wyoming Pole Dance."  I know the sender isn't prone to email account hijacking so I went ahead and viewed it.  Totally made my day and it fit right with today's post!
video

   And finally, the North Pole matters...
   I really had fun making this for the annual Hero Arts Flickr friends Holiday Card Exchange!  This Large Flower Pattern stamp lends itself so well to so many fun ideas.  In this version I embossed with Judi-Kins Egyptian Gold powder [a bright gold with holographic glitter] and the result is spectacular.  I wanted traditional colors, so I embossed another panel with regular silver embossing powder and cut a strip to layer with the sentiment.  I used the remaining red/silver to make a card for the Monthly Hero Arts contest based on one of their sketches:
  Using a pink panel for the sentiment and stamping the background one more time on pink cardstock with red ink, I think it makes a lovely pointsetta holiday parade!  I embellished with some red marker-colored pearls, and it shines in the Christmas tree we finally put up last night!  Let the season begin!
  * for some other ideas with this stamp you might want to see herehere, and here.


p.s.  If you click on the photos...it makes them larger if you want to see detail!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Treasure on Earth

Treasure on Earth by debstamps
Treasure on Earth, a photo by debstamps on Flickr.
Moxie Fab World is running with a huge gallery of fun from the new Papercrafts Magazine's "Get Inspired" title, and I used today's 'global' idea for our weekly piano teacher's card! I enjoy coming up with ideas for a new masculine card every week, and this particular idea has inspired a new set I'm hoping to work on this Sunday!
Tomorrow will be a fun-fulled day of Mindstorm Mayhem as the family travels for my son's FIRST Robotics team challenge.  Make it a great weekend everyone!