Sunday, April 13, 2014

LOTV - Happy Birthday!...

If you didn't already know, next month, Lili of the Valley celebrates its 10th birthday, and in celebration, there's a birthday card challenge going on right now...and I hope you'll join in, too!  Each of us on the design team have made a special card just for the day. Today it's my turn to share my card in honor of a wonderful company that I'm so happy to be working with.

I love the beautiful rose papers in the Always & Forever paper pad, so it was my first choice for this card...there are so many surfaces to cover that I didn't have to choose only one or two...I had lots of options...





I first saw this card design last April on Marianne's blog ... and after a good bit of oohing-and-aahing, spent a bigger bit of time trying to find a tutorial so I could make one like it. It seems to be a cross between a gate-fold card and a napkin-fold card, but I had no luck finding an existing tutorial. So, as you can imagine, I used quite a few (at least 5) pieces of cardstock trying to find the magic combination of folds, creases, punches, etc. to get the look. Then, when I finally did, I set the folded and punched card aside for another day when I had time to "gussy" it up just the right way, and write up some sort of tutorial. And there it sat, and I had almost forgotten I had it there in my "template" basket, until it was time to make up the LOTV birthday card. It was the perfect occasion to tackle this card again. 

As luck would have it, in the meantime, an online friend of mine got the same idea, and wrote the perfect tutorial...and that's when I said to myself, "self, why didn't you just wait until Rebecca got her hands on it and save yourself a lot of time and cardstock?!" So if you decide you'd like to try a card like this for yourself, head on over here to Rebecca's blog, where her tutorial makes it look so much more stress-free than I remember feeling as I was experimenting with it...LOL. 

The fun part is that there are so very many places on this card to add embellishments and decorations...and the removable large tag is what holds it all together. The large sentiment on the tag is from LOTV's Set 61, Quotables/Celebrate ...the stamped roses are from Set 66, Grunge Elements (I stamped them verrrrrrry lightly to add to the "grunge" background look)...and of course, the lace and pearls I can always find a spot for on my cards...





The mini tag at the top of the large tag is stamped with a sentiment from Set 29, Vintage Sentiments/Just to Say ...



Once you remove the tag, the card stands open like this...




There are two different papers from the Always & Forever pad used on the front. On the pink-striped corners, I stamped a decorative corner from Set 68, Corners, and heat-embossed them with white embossing powder.  With the pretty rose papers I used, I couldn't resist decorating the front corners with pink and red mulberry roses, accented with a small leaf stem and shabbied up a bit with a snippet of cheesecloth...






On the inside of the card, a couple more patterns from the Always & Forever paper pad were used, and a sentiment block added to the center.  The sentiment verse is from the A5 Verses set, and the cursive sentiment is from Set 25, Handwritten Phrases ...





A little more lace and pearl trim was the final touch...


Supplies:
Patterned papers:  LOTV Always & Forever paper pad
Stamps:   LOTV Set 61, Quotables/Celebrate;   Set 66, Grunge Elements;   Set 29, Vintage Sentiments/Just to Say;   
Set 68, Corners;   Set 10, A5 Verses;   Set 25, Handwritten Phrases
Edge Punch:   Martha Stewart Swirling Lace PATP          Scalloped Lace:   TheFunkieJunkie.com
Pearl spray:   local craft store          Pearl flourishes & mini pearls:   Recollections
Flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Hug Snug seam binding
Miscellaneous:   cheesecloth, white embossing powder, white craft paint


To recap, I used (4) different pieces of patterned paper from the 8"x 8" Always & Forever paper pad to decorate this card (one of the papers used on the inside of the card was also used on the large tag), (1) 12" x 12" piece of white cardstock for the card base, and (1) 12" x 12" piece of red cardstock as "mats" for the patterns, the large tag base, and front corners between the pieces of white cardstock.

If you like using images on your cards, the large tag is a perfect place for one (as Marianne did on her original card), and you could have some fun adding them to the side pieces on the inside of the card, too. But since my focus on the LOTV team is the use of sentiment stamps and patterned papers, I decided it was the perfect opportunity for me to use several sentiment stamps on their birthday card!



I hope you'll join in on the Monthly Challenge going on right now on the Ideas to Inspire Challenge blog and enter your birthday card for LOTV...we'd love to see what you can create!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!











Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Shabby Meets Mixed Media...Just a Little Note...

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Lately my creative time has come in small increments...mostly because my creative mojo is intermittent. LOL  So I've been using this time to gather up a few new supplies and play with some new (to me) techniques...you know, the things you've seen around and said to yourself, "one of these days I'm going to play around with that." So, "these days" are here now. That's what's happened with the last two cards I've posted, and why they're a bit more technique-heavy than usual. It's easier to add techniques one on top of another when you're not doing every step at the same time - you have a little more time to consider alternatives and options.

Here's today's shabby-meets-mixed-media-and-spring card fun...




I didn't take in-progress photos with today's card as I did with last week's, but I can show you a similar piece that was the base of it. One night I played around with a couple new My Favorite Things Abstract Art stamps and Distress Inks, along with a small Maya Road ledger stamp, and made a couple pieces like this using a couple different color combos...they sat in a baggie for a few days until I got around to playing with them again:




(I lightly and randomly swiped a cotton rag on parts of the ledger stamp after inking it to get the uneven and faded areas and edges.)

The first step of the layering was to use gesso to adhere a small piece of cheesecloth in the center, and to spread the edges of the gesso out toward the edges and onto the ledger stamp to lighten the center. The nice thing about gesso is, with a single coat, it's not as heavy and opaque as acrylic paint, so it gives that lightened-color look without being too overly obvious.

Next, I grabbed a Crafters Workshop reverse chickenwire template, and applied modeling paste mixed with black acrylic paint over the left upper corner, partially covering some of the ledger stamp. After I applied the black accent, it looked a little too bold for the overall look I was going for, so out came the gesso again, and I lightly dry-brushed a little more gesso over the part of the chickenwire closest to the center...it gives it a bit of a shabbier look...




At the bottom of the piece, I used a Tim Holtz Measured template, and this time, applied the modeling paste straight out of the container, and let it dry. Can you see the fun effect this makes, all on its own?




The modeling paste seemingly "absorbs" the color of the inked area just beneath it, adding to the subtlety of the paste accent. You can see that the brown, blue, and pink inks from the base piece show through the ruler template lines of the paste right over them. (If I had wanted an opaque white appearance, mixing the paste with white acrylic paint would have done the trick...but this time, I wanted the ruler line to be understated, and just a bit of contrasting texture at the bottom of the card.)

Then it was time to add fun die-cuts, flowers, pearls, a snippet of crocheted lace, and a sweet little sentiment stamp. At the center of the florals is a two-toned gardenia, and it's surrounded with a couple lilies and roses...




Supplies:
Stamps:   My Favorite Things DC Abstract Art;   My Favorite Things Jumbo DC Abstract Art;   Maya Road Ledger;
Papertrey Ink Mat Stack 2 Collection ("just a little note")
Dies:   Memory Box Chloe Stem;   My Favorite Things Leaf-Filled Flourish
Templates:   Tim Holtz Measured;   The Crafters Workshop Chickenwire Reversed
Flowers:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Lace:   TheFunkieJunkie.com          Pearls:   Recollections
Miscellaneous:   Maya Road leaf stick pin (embellished), Distress Inks, cheesecloth, gesso, modeling paste



Thanks so much for stopping by today...I hope your week started with a smile!










Wednesday, April 2, 2014

LOTV - Let's Celebrate

Good morning, all! There's a fun birthday challenge this month over at the LOTV Ideas to Inspire Challenge page. Lili of the Valley is turning 10 next month! I'll show you the birthday card I made soon, in a separate post. The challenge runs until the end of the month, and winners of three prizes will be announced May 1st. That gives you lots of time to enter...and remember, I have a link to the challenge page over on the right sidebar of this blog if you should ever need it.

In the meantime, I have a fun card that I made as a "congratulations" card, but after a bit of thinking, I guess you could also use it as a birthday card. In previous posts, I've used the LOTV background stamps in lieu of patterned papers...as I did on this card. This time, I wanted to make a patterned paper using a variety of different LOTV stamps. You may not have the same selection of stamps in your stash to use, but I wanted to show how using a combination of large and small stamps can make a fun one-of-a-kind background for your cards. Here's the end result of my play with some of my LOTV stamps...




On a piece of watercolor paper, I've used a stamp from Set 21, Grunge Corners in the upper left corner, and a smaller stamp from Set 68, Corners in the lower right corner. I filled in between the two along the lower edge with a text stamp from Set 66, Grunge Elements, and a Paris postmark from the same set in the upper right corner. The last piece of the background was a cancellation mark from Set 22, Love Sentiments over the Paris postmark. Here's what the piece looked like at the start, with only the stamps...





I placed the stamps just inside the paper edges because I knew I wanted to heavily distress them and didn't want to lose the edges of the stamps to the distressing. Originally I had planned to put only a large floral grouping in the diagonal open space, but then I found a piece of Antebellum patterned paper left from a previous project (if you're looking at the thumbnail of the paper pad on the LOTV site, it's the aqua, purple, and green piece in the lower right of all the small pictures). I cut that leftover piece of patterned paper to fit the opening, and used my Distress Inks to outline where the paper would go so I could "shade" the edges beneath the patterned paper to give it the illusion of dimension...you can see that I had started to "drag" the color down using my watercolor brush to darken the area around the paper...




Then I started adding the background color with Distress Inks and a watercolor brush...about halfway done in this photo...




Once the coloring was complete, I distressed the edges with an edge distresser, added a piece of palest aqua paper from the Timeless Victorian paper pad behind the watercolored paper, added some machine stitching and edge distressing on the aqua paper, and adhered the pieces to the deep purple card base. All that was left was to add the patterned paper to the center of the watercolored front, and embellish. 

But I wanted to play some more, so on the small diagonal piece of patterned paper, I added some stenciled crackled texture paste, then lightly rubbed in some violet metallic rub...you can see a closeup in this photo. (I die cut one of the new Tim Holtz Frameworks die from Grafix Stencil Film and used it to add the texture paste in the open areas). The sentiment on the banner is from Set 25, Handwritten Phrases ...




Here are a couple closeups of the floral clusters...I added little "dew drops" on the flowers using Viva Glass Effects Gel...






On the inside of the card, I added another "celebration" sentiment from Set 10, A5 Verses to complement the sentiment on the front of the card...

Supplies:
LOTV Stamps:   Set 21, Grunge Corners;   Set 68, Corners;   Set 66, Grunge Elements;   Set 22, Love Sentiments:   Set 25, Handwritten Phrases;   Set 10, A5 Verses
LOTV Patterned Papers:    Antebellum;   Timeless Victorian
Dies:   Tim Holtz Tattered Banners;   Tim Holtz Courtyard Frameworks;   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves
Flowers and stamens:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Pearls:   Recollections
Miscellaneous:   Studio 490 Crackled Texture Paste;   Viva Inka Gold Metallic Rub-Violet;   Distress Inks;   cheesecloth;   Viva Glass Effects Gel


Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you'll join in on the birthday challenge fun and enter your birthday card to the LOTV challenge site!













Friday, March 28, 2014

Just a Simple Hello...or Two...

Happy Friday, all! After I finished a couple card projects (that you'll see here soon), I found my crafty-mojo had taken a bit of "unauthorized" vacation time! So when I started to craft the other night, I found myself sitting there with no ideas...not a happy feeling to a paper crafter who finds herself with time for crafting and no crafty ideas to fill it with! So, I decided to try my hand again at a couple clean-and-simple "hello" cards and hope for the best.

They're not my usual style at all, but they were fun to make...and went together a lot faster than my cards usually do...that part was fun, too! :)

First up is a square card made with kraft and bright white, with black accents...the kraft envelope with the polka dots was my inspiration for this color combo...




You'll notice, however, that I couldn't resist adding the lace and a small flower to the card...(baby steps, friends...one of these days I'll be able to make a "true" clean and simple card and resist the temptation to add layers...)

Supplies:
Maya Road Kraft Note Envelope
Decorative edge punch:   Martha Stewart Vintage Doily PATP
Stamps:   Winnie & Walter, "The Big The Bold The Happy" (hello);   BoBunny EtCetera (first class mail)
Lace:   local craft store          Flower:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Black rhinestones:   Kaisercraft



Next, I turned to my LOTV design-teammate Jen's bright and sassy card that was my inspiration to purchase the "hello" stamp set from Winnie & Walter in the first place. I used Jen's card as inspiration, and starting playing around with watercolors to give me the same bright, springtime feel, and here's how my "C.A.S.E." of Jen's card turned out...




No lace and flowers on this one...but a twine wrap and bow held by a black brad...




and a few golden yellow clear raindrops for accent...I'm getting closer to true clean-and-simple here...


Supplies:
Stamp:   Winnie & Walter "The Big The Bad The Happy"
Rain dots:   Fiskars          Miscellaneous:   watercolors, twine, brad



Thanks so much for visiting today...have a wonderful weekend!






Friday, March 21, 2014

LOTV - Annabel's in Town!...


Happy Friday, everyone! Lili of the Valley is introducing seven adorable new stamps featuring little Annabel, a very active little girl whose pigtails are always flying. :) The stamps will be available for purchase from the website at midday on Monday, March 24th.

Annabel's being featured in today's blog hop, and as the LOTV hops often have, there are prizes hidden among our participating blogs for *two* lucky commenters, who will each win the complete set of the 7 new Annabel stamps by random drawing of all the comments. So be sure to leave a comment on each participating blog to increase your chances of winning one of the two prizes!

Here's the linked list of the blogs participating to make it easy for you to find them all...

Kathy (you're here!)
Lou


As you may know by now, my focus on the team is use of the gorgeous LOTV papers, and the sentiment and background stamps. So how do I make a card incorporating the fun spirit of Annabel without using her image? I decided, since Annabel is such a busy girl, and apparently not partial to lacy and frilly things, I'd make up a card that was "busy" with techniques and minimize the "frilly" details that I'm so fond of.  :)




The background patterned paper is from LOTV's Pressed in Time paper pad...the large heart in the center is covered with paper from the Beach Bliss pad. Then I added several LOTV background stamp images to the piece. The clock in the lower left corner, and the postmark and text in the lower right corner, are from LOTV's Grunge Elements stamp set. The wonderful corner stamp in the upper right is from LOTV's Grunge Corners stamp set. The sentiment from the Handwritten Phrases set was stamped onto a tattered banner diecut.

After the stamping, I gesso'd the center of the piece, using the gesso itself to "glue" pieces of cheesecloth on both sides. The next step was to spritz some Broken China Distress Ink diluted with distilled water over the center of the gesso'd area, including the cheesecloth, and while it was still wet, I tilted the piece back and forth to make the ink run, and give a watercolor effect. I used a Tim Holtz Splatters stencil and some Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink to give the look of "cup" marks on the piece.

After some "messy" stenciling with dark gray modeling paste and a chickenwire template (to get the "messy" look, I didn't tape the stencil down, letting some of the paste seep under some of the edges...Annabel's not big into perfectly neat...heehee) I sprinkled some Shabby Blue Frantage embossing powder randomly around the card and heat embossed it.

A canvas flower with a button center, a seam binding bow, and a small stamen cluster, were added over the heart in the center of the card front...




Here's a closeup of the grunge corner stamp that shows most of the techniques all in one photo...the gesso, splatter stencil, modeling paste chickenwire stencil, Frantage embossing powder, distressed edges, and machine stitching...





The final handmade accent is a small air-dry clay corner element, painted with acrylic paints in coordinating colors...


Supplies:
Patterned papers:   LOTV Pressed in Time and Beach Bliss paper pads
Stamps:   LOTV Set 66 Grunge Elements (clock, postmark, text);  Set 21 Grunge Corners; and Set 25 Handwritten Phrases
Dies:   Tim Holtz Tattered Banners;   Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves;   Xyron ShapeZ/Heart
Stencils:   Tim Holtz Splatters;   Crafters Workshop Chickenwire Reversed
Canvas flower:   Prima          Stamen cluster:   Wild Orchid Crafts          Clay corner:   Martha Stewart air dry clay and mold
Miscellaneous:   Hug Snug seam binding,  cheesecloth,  gesso,  Distress Inks,  Frantage embossing powder



Remember that we don't know who the "lucky blogs" belong to, so the more blogs you leave a comment on, the better your chances of winning a set of Annabel stamps in the random drawings. And don't forget to stop by the Ideas to Inspire blog on Monday morning to see if you're one of the lucky winners!

Thanks for stopping in for a visit today. Enjoy the hop, and good luck to you!





Wednesday, March 12, 2014

LOTV - I Do, I Do...

Hello, hello there! :)  As you may have seen, Lili of the Valley introduced five beautiful wedding stamp sets on Monday, March 10th. There are five very different designs - Simple, Traditional, Handwritten, Pretty, and Art Nouveau - each with 20 stamps in the set. We on the design team had a LOT of fun stepping outside our usual design "boxes" to create a whole range of different styles of stationery sets with these new stamps. The two sets I created are very different, not only from each other, but from my usual style.

The first set is made with cream cardstock, and purple accents...lots of die cutting and embossing for texture and dimension... the stamping was embossed with amethyst pearl embossing powder. The set includes a Save-the-Date card, a Wedding Invitation, and a Thank You card...and even with the die cutting and embossing, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to do this in assembly-line fashion.

This first group uses Wedding Set 70, Traditional.  Here's a group pic so you can get an idea of the sizes in respect to the other cards in the set...





 The save-the-date card:




and the details on the inside...




The invitation...


inside left...



and the details on the inside right...



and the thank-you card...



and on the inside...

Supplies:
Sentiment stamps:   LOTV Wedding Set 70, Traditional
Dies:   Spellbinders Adorning Squares, Classic Squares Small, Fancy Framed Tags Two;   
 Sizzix Flowers Branches & Leaves
Embossing folder:   Cuttlebug Polka Dots          Pearls:  Zva Creations and Recollections
Ribbon:   local craft store         Miscellaneous:   Stampendous PearLustre Amethyst embossing powder




For the second set, I used the new Wedding Set 82, Handwritten. Dena gave you all a sneak peek of this stamp set on her blog last week, where she used it on a gorgeous and formal set of stationery. My set is anything but formal, so it's a great example of how versatile these stamp sets can be. 

I used watercolors on cold pressed watercolor paper as my "patterned paper," and along with heavy paper edge tearing and edge distressing, ended up with a very distressed and relaxed feel to the set. Once again, there's a Save-the-Date, but this time it's a single-layer card that will fit into a 5x7 envelope for mailing, along with a 5x7 invitation, and a 4x6 thank you card...






Even though this save-the-date is a single-layer card, I backed it with plain white cardstock to cover the ribbon wrapped to the back and give it a more finished appearance...



The invitation, and the thank you card, are white textured cardstock, with the watercolor paper pieces adhered on top of the cardstock...





The 4x6 thank-you card mimics the design on the invitation...



The little distressed hearts on the fronts, and on the inside of the invitation, were made using crackle texture paste and a heart stencil...


Supplies:
Sentiment Stamps:   LOTV Wedding Set 82, Handwritten
Ribbons and small flowers:   local craft store
Studio 490 Crackle Texture Paste          Stampendous Tim Holtz Hearts stencil
Miscellaneous:   watercolors, cold pressed water color paper




Thanks so much for visiting today...I hope you having a great week!








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