Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guest Designing for Top Dog Dies

Hello friends--Yes, you read that title right.  A while back, I was contacted by Top Dog Dies to see if I would like to be a Guest Designer for some of their dies.  Of course, I said yes, and they sent me some very fun dies to play around with.  

Top Dog Dies is a new online store that offers their own brand of wafer-thin and steel-rule dies, along with dies from brands you already know and trust, including My Favorite Things, Lawn Fawn, Taylored Expressions. Savvy Stamps and Cheery Lynn Designs. Top Dog Dies is also the leading U.S. retailer for Tattered Lace, a new line of intricate dies designed by British designer Stephanie Weightman.

Today I am sharing some projects I made with the Heart Doily Die.  This is a set of two dies, as you can see below.

I made 4 projects with these dies, and could have played a lot more, if those pesky kids of mine did not want to be picked up from school and fed dinner.

First up is a valentine card.  I used the larger die to cut a base of Pure Poppy, and cut the smaller, more detailed heart out of white card stock.  I stamped the sentiment, from PTI Grand Ampersand, in Pure Poppy and Versafine Onyx Black.  I used foam tape to adhere the two hearts together, and then adhered it to a white card base, topped off by a bow.

Next, some sweet treats for my lucky Valentine.  I created die cut stacked hearts the same as above, only using some patterned paper.  I adhered this to a little treat bag that I created using some papers I had on hand from an old 12X12 Valentine Pad and my Gift Bag Punch Board.

My next project is a shaped mini card. 

I used the larger die to cut a card base.  I placed my die over the fold of a scored piece of white card stock.  You can see that the die will overlap a little bit on the left, so that the two sides will stay together.

Then, I cut another large heart from white card stock, and then impressed that die cut heart with the smaller die.  So, I used the more detailed die as an impression plate, rather than a die.  I used the same sandwich I use for my PTI Impression plates, including the rubber mats.

I stamped a sentiment from Verve in the center of that impressed heart piece using Raspberry Fizz ink, popped on a few sequins, and attached that die cut heart to my heart shaped card base.

My last project involves a technique I learned during the online card class I took a few weeks back.  

I took a 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 piece of computer paper and die cut the largest heart out of the center.  Then, I used temporary adhesive to attach the negative space to my card front panel.  I stamped around the entire heart shape, making sure to have all my stamped images partly on the mask and partly on the front panel. 

This is what the mask looked like when I removed it.  You can see what was left on the card front.  I used stamps from Ruby Rose and Ruby Rose Reprise and a sentiment from Bigger Blooms.  Then, I impressed that panel with the Stitching Impression  Plate and used foam tape to attach it to  my card base.

Top Dog Dies is doing a guest designer giveaway for the whole month of April.  The winner will receive $50 worth of exclusive dies from Top Dog Dies (their choice!). Click here to enter the giveaway.  

I have had a lot of fun playing with these new Top Dog Dies.  Stay tuned over the next two weeks--I'll have more projects to share from some other Top Dog Dies.

Thanks for Visiting

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CASology Week 92: Garden

It's time for another CASology challenge, and our cue word this week is GARDEN.  My true confession today is that I have two black thumbs.  I cannot grow or take care of any sort of plant, and I have come to terms with that.  I have a gardener who takes care of the outside of my house and lots of silk and plastic fake plants and flowers inside.  But, as terrible as I am with real flowers, I just adore flower stamps and dies.  In fact, you could say that I have quite a garden in my stamp baskets.  So, for this challenge, I pulled out one of my older flower stamps and stamped a sweet little flower garden scene.

How about you?  What do you think of when you see the word GARDEN?  Do you like to garden?  What do you grow?  Have some fun with this cue word, and then please link up your creation on the CASology blog by Monday 4/28 at noon (CST).

I stamped one of my favorite images from Botanical Silhouettes using SU Real Red and Pear Pizzazz.  I grounded my garden with a thin strip of Pear Pizzazz.  I'm running low on Sympathy cards, so I used the 'with sympathy' sentiment from the same set, tucking it into one of the spaces between the flowers.  I set that panel on a standard sized card base using foam tape, and added a few black enamel dots.

Since CASology is a Clean And Simple challenge, I thought it would be helpful to review some things to keep in mind when creating a CAS design:

1.  One main image
2.  Lots of open space (uncluttered)
3.  Limited layers & embellishments
4.  Quick & easy to recreate
You can see that my card meets all 4 criteria above.
So, what do you think of when you see the word GARDEN?
Check out the beautiful designs from the CASology Design Team members and see how they were inspired by GARDEN.  Then, please play along and link your creation to the CASology blog by Monday 4/28 at noon (CST).  

Don't forget to keep your card Clean and Simple.

Monday, April 21, 2014

ColourQ and Retro Sketches

Hello friends.  I am finally back from my trip.  It was really wonderful to get to spend the entire week with only my oldest daughter, and  as long as I didn't think too much about what we were doing (i.e. finding her a college thousands of miles away from home), I remained in good spirits.  Of course, I was itching to get into my craft room, and so I found a few moments between laundry and getting the house put back together to make this card.

I made a quick card for this week's ColourQ cQc #237 and Retro Sketches rs#111--actually broke out a new die that was waiting for me in the mail pile--Vespertine Blossoms by Memory Box.  I'm keeping this super short because I need to get dinner going and the ColourQ challenge is almost ending.

I hope to spend some time meandering around blog land tomorrow (just like Anita), and catching up on everything I missed last week.

Thanks for Visiting

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Four-of-a-Kind (April 2014)

Ever since we changed Four-of-a-Kind from a monthly kit to a quarterly kit, it seems like forever between posts.  But, the April posting date is here, and so I am very excited to show what I made with Kim's kit, and to see what every one else did with their kits, too.  Our hostess this month was Kim, and she sent a wonderful kit, filled with all things coffee and tea.  I had such fun making my cards this month.  I consider myself lucky because I got the self-assembling kit this time.  My cards practically made themselves.

Here is a picture of the kit Kim sent:

I have 6 cards, so I will get right to the pictures.

I think this one is my favorite.  I coated the entire coffee cup in a thick layer of Crackle Glossy Accents.

This is my other favorite.  I love the font of the big die cut 'hello' and the patterned paper on the left is my favorite of the bunch.

Well, that's it for me.  I cannot wait to see what the other four did with their kits.  This is a scheduled post, as I am traveling with my daughter at the moment.  I'll need to wait just a few days until I get home. 

Here is a link to my pinterest board where I pin everyone's Four-of-a-Kind creations. 

The other three members of Four-of-a-Kind are:

Cathy Weber:  Empty Nest Crafter
Kim Heggins:  Cupcakes, Cards and Kim
Renee Lynch:  It's A Patchwork Life
Special Guest Designer:  Tracey:  In My Creative Opinion
Please stop by their blogs, if you haven't been there already, and see what they have created for their April Four-of-a-Kind projects.  

Thanks for Visiting

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CASology Week 91: Note

It's time for another CASology challenge, and this week's cue word is NOTE.  Lots of different ways to go with this challenge.  Thank you note, love note, music note, how about a post it note?  I decided to make a little note card to send to a friend, and played off the concept of a musical note.

I've been having fun digging deep into my stamping past to come up with new cards using old sets, and this week is no exception.  I used the birds and branches from PTI Little Bitty Bird along with the musical notes and sentiment from Little Bitty Bird Additions.  I used a diagonal striped paper from Basic Grey Kneehighs at the bottom of my card, and die cut the birds using some tone on tone papers from that same pad.  I stamped a little song that the birds are singing to each other and filled in the leaves on the branches with just a bit of color using a Distress Ink marker--I was going for the 'less than perfectly colored/artistic look' on those leaves.  A bit of rustic jute twine, and my card is done.

Since CASology is a Clean And Simple challenge, I thought it would be helpful to review some things to keep in mind when creating a CAS design:

1.  One main image
2.  Lots of open space (uncluttered)
3.  Limited layers & embellishments
4.  Quick & easy to recreate
You can see that my card meets all 4 criteria above.
So, what do you think of when you see the word NOTE?
Check out the beautiful designs from the CASology Design Team members and see how they were inspired by NOTE.  Then, please play along and link your creation to the CASology blog by Monday 4/21 at noon (CST).  

Please note:  This is a scheduled post--I am writing it just before embarking on a week long trip with my oldest daughter to check out a few colleges on the east coast.  I am doing my best to keep both of us off-line, off the computer, and connected to each other.  So, I apologize in advance for not visiting any blogs to see what you have created.  I'll do my best to catch up when I return.  

Don't forget to keep your card Clean and Simple.

And our guest designer this week, Dena.

Thanks for Visiting

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Color Challenges and Some Gift Bags

This is my last post before departing tomorrow with my oldest daughter on a week long college tour.  She has always wanted to go to school on the east coast, so we will spend the week visiting colleges she thinks she might want to apply to.  I've got a few posts scheduled to go live while I am gone, but don't be suprised if you don't hear from me in a while.  I am not bringing a computer, and am really going to try to be as disconnected from the internet as possible.

My first card is for this week's Color Throwdown ctd287.  I wanted to try out some of my new Distress Inks and use them with water.  I picked three colors that looked closest to the CTD colors--Stormy Sky, Squeezed Lemonade and Bundled Sage.  I inked up an old wooden stamp I found in my closet that was sort of a block shape, stamped on watercolor paper, misted the entire thing and then dried with my heat gun.  After the colors were dry, I stamped the sentiment in Versifine.

I like the blurry sort of look that the water added.  The colors are also much more vibrant--I don't know if that is because of the water, or because the Distress Ink covers are so muted.  Anyway, I thought it made a nice simple card that would work well as a masculine card.

Next up is my second card this week using ColourQ #236.  I decided to make a little thank you set using the circles from Sketched Shapes and whatever color challenges come along that appeal to me.  My sentiment is from Avery Elle Modern Leaves.  

My finished card size is 3.5 x 5.  While trying to fix a stamping mistake, I made the happy discovery that if I double stamp the circles from Sketch Shapes and rotate the stamp 90 degrees for the second stamp, I get a cool sort of plaid pattern on the stamp.

This card uses the Colour Me Striking... combination from this week's Colour Me CMCC #14.  I used Bermuda Breeze, Crushed Curry (substitute for Daffodil Delight) and Smokey Slate as an added neutral.

I'm entering this one at Dynamic Duos DD#96, and I used PTI Winter Wisteria, Harvest Gold and added Memento London Fog as a neutral.

Here is my set so far.  I'll see what color challenges are posted when I get back from my trip and finish off the set.

I got a new toy this week, and spent way too much time trying to figure out how to use it.  The Gift Bag Punch Board was super easy to use, once I figured out the confusing directions.  I looked at a lot of tutorials, but found this one to be the most helpful.  Here are some little bags I made with some of the 12X12 scrapbook papers I had in my stash.

I made one modification and that was to adhere a strip of coordinating paper to the very top of the paper that I was using as my bag.  I also made a matching tag by gluing a small piece of patterned paper to a piece of white card stock and then cutting a tag using the smallest Reverse Confetti Tag Me die.  I stamped 'to' and 'from' on the tag using To You From Me.

That's it for me for a while.  I hope you all have a good Easter week.

Thanks for Visiting

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Make it Monday and ColourQ

This week's Make it Monday #159:  No-Sew Quilted Cards is a really good one--super easy and the end results are very striking.  If you haven't tried it yet, I would encourage you to check it out.  I made two cards yesterday using the technique.  I am dangerous with a needle and thread, so the title piqued my interest right away.

I used some SU paper and a sentiment from Sentiment Signs stamped on a Tag Sale die. I decided to line the envelope, and used Super Stripes in colors that matched the card.  This card is already in the mail to a friend's mom--signed by the members of our book club.

I did a super zoom in to show the Stitching Impression Plate.

I decided to see if I could make a version that would be suitable for a masculine card.  I started with some patterns from the Bead Paper pad, used the Burlap Impression Plate, a different Tag Sale die (I always think those scallops are cute but kind of 'girly'), switched out the embroidery floss for some rustic twine, but kept the sentiment the same.

What do you think?  I would send this to a guy.  The card base and envelope are kraft, and I started with a piece of Ripe Avocado rather than White card stock.

I just love the color scheme for this week's ColourQ cQc #236 and used it to make a mother's day card.  I used The Sweet Life stamps, a sentiment from Verve and the Center Stage Cover Plate.

If I have time, I'll be back with something else in these colors.  Did I mention that I love this color scheme?  Oh, I said that already?  I seem to say that almost every week with the ColourQ challenge.

Well, that's it for me today.  

Thanks for Visiting