Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hello Baby

I'm going to a baby non-shower this weekend and I am so glad that I got the new Lawn Fawn stamps in time to make a card for the mom-to-be.

What is a baby non-shower?  The mom-to-be just wants a simple gathering among us girls where we chit chat over yummy food.  She insists that no decorations, no gifts, just hanging out.  She even says that this simple gathering will be the best present for her because after the baby is born she may not get to do this often.

To match with her plain and simple non-shower theme, I've made a clean and simple card:

As the mom-to-be does not know the gender of the child, I have to use gender-neutral colors and the sentiment "HELLO baby!".

I've used gamsol for the very first time and I like it.  I don't have any copic markers and am really intimidated by them, but I heard that gamsol could blend colors from color pencils well and since it is a lot cheaper I'm willing to give it a try.  The result?  Not bad.  It is easy to use and for a novice like me I am happy with the two bunnies above.

One thing I like about this card is that I've used the stitched scallop die to cut a belly band from the Sky cardstock.  It was so easy to line up the scallops and I can see myself doing this more often!  I could make big fat bands or skinny bands.  How nice!  Love to expand the use of my supplies!

I'm entering my card to the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp - Anything Goes
Crafty Girls - Anything Goes
Hanna and Friends - dies
4 Crafty Chicks - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

12 Tags of 2014 - May

Hi Everyone!  Hope you have been enjoying this short week with a smile.  I made this tag over the Memorial Weekend and would love to share with you!

Be sure to check out all the entries linked up to Tim Holtz's blog here.   In addition to enjoying others' entries, you also see the step by step instruction from Tim as to how to make his tag for this month.

His post starts with stating that this month's challenge will be a challenge for many of us.  My heart sank immediately.  Difficult?  Can I make this tag?   I read along and I think he is so right.  This tag requires us to use many trinkets but many of us have a hard time to part with these goodies.  Hahaha~  He totally read my mind!

I've mentioned numerous times that I have a problem about cutting the beautiful paper apart.  This perpetual sickness has not been cured and I wonder if there is a magic potion to cure it.  I always appreciate how pretty the paper is and become so scared that I would cut it wrong - wrong directions, inaccurate dimensions and so forth.  You know, the same pattern comes in only two sheets in a pack and if I cut it wrong and need both sheets, I'm doomed.  

I'm also very good at not cutting the ribbon/twine.  I like to buy them in spools so I know I am allowed to make mistakes but if I buy them in yards I tend to measure the length many times before I cut it apart.  Want to compete with me for the number of mistakes made during crafting?  Good luck.  I'm so good at winning this competition. 

On the other hand, I've also heard a million times from craft teachers and expert crafters that every mistake we make is an opportunity to embellish.  I am starting to "allow" myself to make mistakes by avoiding those unnecessary worries.  In reality, no one is as conscious about those mistakes as I am.  When I gave out the mini-albums, scrapbook pages, calendars to my family and friends and pointed out those mistakes, they usually said I've remembered it wrong, or they put on their glasses and examined it then told me that they couldn't see a flaw.

So for the tag I made this month, I did use the new and pretty Wallflower paper from Tim Holtz (it was still difficult to cut paper apart), some trinkets, rub-on, tickets and alpha-parts.   I do like the new ShadowPress.  It works like an embossing folder but the effect is totally different.  Instead of providing a raised surface, it de-embosses the image so it looks like a shadow.  Tim Holtz's page described a number of ways to use it and I've chosen to create the most plain effect as I like to have a strong solid orange piece against the blue background.

Now that I've cut the Wallflower paper, I am ready to cut and use more of it.  Let me think what I'd like to do with it......

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thank You

Happy Memorial Weekend!

I am sharing a Thank You card today.  I guess it's part of the Memorial Day spirits - I am grateful for those who fought for us selflessly so we can enjoy everything we are enjoying.

For this card, I first heat embossed the tall wheat in green, then applied three shades of orange to the background.  I was trying to create a scene of sunset, but I guess I've edited the lighting of the picture a bit too much so it is rather light here.

I've used the sketch from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge:

Did you know that there are quite a few good deals for card-making or scrapbooking supplies?  I am going to check them out!

My card is entering the following challenges:
613 Avenue - Anything Goes
Amusing Challenge - Anything Goes
Stamping Sensations - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Watercolor monoprint

Today I am combining watercolor and stencil!  I use the Harlequin layering stencil from Tim Holtz to create this card:

I've mentioned that this layering stencil is one of my faves and I just can't emphasize that enough.  It is great for masculine cards!  After creating the background with three tones of blue - Salty Ocean, Broken China and Faded Jeans, I just need to add a sentiment and a focal image, the card is easily done!  This is my first time using the Ranger Embossing Pearls - Silver.  It is not as shimmery as silver embossing powder and somehow I see the luster of a pearl.  Is that why it is embossing pearl?  LOL. 

I'm entering my card to
Artbymiran's Challenge - Anything Goes
Brown Sugar - Anything Goes
Crafty Catz - embossing

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Watercoloring with dies

Just made a Thank You card for my mom as she needs some.  This one is super clean and simple:

This is actually my second attempt with this technique.  The first one, oh well, was an epic failure and let me just say I was too ambitious to try it with an intricate die.  It is much more manageable with this simple flower die and the results are a lot better. 

What I did was to use the negative space as a guide to watercolor the shape of the flowers.  I used distress inks again, as they blend really well with water and they give me quite a bit of open time to work with.  When I become more advanced, I may try other inks.

I'm linking my card to the following:
Crafty Girls - Anything Goes
DL.Art Thankful Thursday - Anything Feminine
Crafting By Designs - Anything Goes
Crafty Creations - Flowers, Die Cut, Ribbon, Purple (I've chosen Flowers and Die Cut)
Penny's Paper-Crafty - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Watercoloring (faux painting)

My mom asked me to prepare some Birthday and Thank you cards for her last week so I have the perfect reason to craft and practice more watercoloring techniques. 

I'm trying to do some faux hand painting:

Does it look like it was painted?  In real life it doesn't look like it was stamped but in fact in was!  I used distress inks to blend the colors and created shading. 

When it comes to making a card like this, I almost always want to start with the sentiment.  I hate it if the sentiment is not well stamped the whole card would be ruined, then I have to start all over from the "painting" of the rose.  How can I let the portion that takes the least time to ruin the project?  This time, however, I forgot to start with the sentiment but it wasn't messed up so I could put it to use.  To fill in the empty space I gave a little splash of the remaining distress ink on the card.  I like that the splatter fills in the space and makes it softer and gentler because the white space was too cold.  I don't recall doing it before and it's certainly fun as the results are so unpredictable.  This will become one of my favorite things to do on cards! 

I'm linking my card to the following:
Less is More - Flowers
Suzy Bee's Bloomin' - CAS
The Paper Players - Clean and Simple Floral

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Watercolor stamping

I have to make a Sympathy card for my co-worker.  Sympathy cards are always difficult.  I tend to stick with something related to nature, darker colors and sometimes even monochromatic.  This card has many shades of green: 

I used the sketch from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge:

When I first saw this sketch I had no clue what I could do but after digging through my stash and found this fern stamp and using the "watercolor stamping" technique with distress inks (Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, Forest Moss), this card was put together without too much pain (This is my second try and it's acceptable, right?)

I'm linking my card to the following:
Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge
Stamping Sensations - Anything Goes
Crafting at the weekend - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes
Sister Act Card Challenge - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Watercoloring an embossed image

I'm still enjoying the fun of watercoloring.  Hopefully you are too!

I've actually tried to watercolor an embossed image twice.  This is my second attempt.  My first attempt took me hours but I am still not sure I liked that.  For that one, I stamped an image repeatedly to create my own background.  Because the motif has a lot of open space, I colored each one in a different color, so it did take me forever.  This one came from a favorite background stamp of mine - lattice background.  Because each opening is of the same size, so coloring each space is not as time consuming.  I finished it by adding a banner and a die-cut, where the word Birthday is also colored in the same manner.

Even though it took me quite a while to finish coloring, I think it is well worth it.  Of course I am very happy to find one extra way to use my distress markers!

I'm linking up my card to
Card Mania - Emboss it
Artistic Inspiration - no designer paper/anything goes
CAS(e) this sketch

 Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Watercoloring a stamped image (Part II)

I'm sharing part II of watercoloring a stamped image today where the image was colored with watercolor pencils.  I think this one is quite elegant:

While I was searching for outline stamps for coloring, these rose images came to mind.  I like that they are very elegant and the images have some built-in shading to give me guidance for coloring.  After all, I am not a coloring professional so any help would mean a lot to me.

I have always been intimidated by coloring and I don't even try to expand my comfort zone until I got these watercolor pencils.  They are good for novice like me!  Just like regular color pencils, we could color directly on the image.  The intensity of the color can be easily controlled by adding more pigment or water to it.  Mistakes can easily be hidden or fixed.  These watercolor pencils work like magic for me!

Now that I have taken these watercolor pencils out I am going to color some more........

Before that I am linking up my card to the following:
The Cupboard Trilogy - Flowers
ALBC - Flower Power
A Sprinkle of Imagination - Anything Goes
Feeling Crafty Challenge - One for girls/ladies

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Watercoloring a stamped image

One of the things that I didn't think I would try was to stamp an image with Distress ink then watercolor the image.  Distress inks react with water so why would I stamp an image with it then watercolor it?  Wouldn't it mess up the image and muddle up the colors?

Maybe not.

This is my first attempt and I fell in love with it!  One thing I like a lot about this card is that it is gender neutral (don't you find it difficult to make a masculine or neutral one?)  The other thing I like is that by strategically stamping the image many times on the card front, I get a focal image while
the remaining ones do not seem too repetitive.  Yup, only two stamps are involved on this card - the Thank You sentiment and the one with a main branch, few leaves and an apple.  Of course I like how my first attempt turned out - the image is still very clear and the colors are not messed up.  It looks very much like a painted/watercolor picture while I've stamped it and colored it.  How nice!

I'm linking up my card to the following:
Just B Creative Crazy - Anything Goes
Sunshine Mail - Anything Goes
Sister Act Card Challenge - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Watercolor background with stencil

I'm sharing a card using a technique learned in Online Card Classes - Watercolor for Cardmakers Day 1.  Interestingly it is the first technique shown in the class but I couldn't get it right after I have got all others done.

I've tried different stencils, watercolor media and watercolor paper and I'm afraid out of the many attempts this is the only acceptable one:

Once I got it right, I felt bad to do anything with it as I don't want to ruin it or cover it up.  So I put a simple die cut in black to turn it into a thank you card. 

I'm linking up my card to:
Crafting when we can - die cuts
ABC Challenges - keep it simple
Dies R Us - Anything Goes
Challenge Party - Dies and/or Punches

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Watercolor background - rainbow colors

Back with another colorful card.  This time I first white embossed a background stamp then add colors to create the watercolor effect:

The rainbow colors are not as random as they appear here and I like the embossed background resists the watercolor.  These bright colors make me happy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamping with acrylic blocks

Yup, you read it right.  I used my 1" acrylic block as a stamp.  Try it out and it's super simple: ink it up, spritz it with some water and stamp it on paper!

I've used distress inks here as they blend well and react with water.  But I think the technique works just as well with other dye inks.

The background is pretty cool as I always like to make my own background.  I wonder how it will look if I use analogous colors, will that create an ombre effect or monochromatic background?  I gotta give it a try.

I'm linking up my card to
Crafting from the Heart - Anything Goes
Crafty Sentiments Designs - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Compendium of Curiosities III

Finally, I am challenging myself to take this challenge, Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge, a challenge dedicated to using the techniques in the book Compendium of Curiosities III.  I have this book and its two sisters Compendium of Curiosities I & II and I have flipped through them countless times.  I also have quite a bit of "Tim Holtz stash" but just like what Tim Holtz said in the 12 tags of 2014 - May that some of us just cherish the fact that we have those embellishments and findings rather than using them, I have a hard time using my Tim Holtz stash (and my stash in general!).  I have mentioned many times on my blog that I have a disease that I have difficulty cutting pretty paper, not because I lack a pair of sharp scissors or a good paper trimmer, but because I am worried that the paper will not be as pretty after I cut it to pieces.  My bigger concern is that I would cut the paper in the wrong direction or size.  My other disease, is of course, having a difficult time to use the trinkets, findings and embellishments of all kinds.  It is so difficult to part with these tiny little things!

However, I really want to practice those techniques and put my stash to use.  I am playing along the 12 tags of 2014 this year but the accumulation of my stash grows faster than the rate of use.  Argh.  Here comes another opportunity - the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge.  Yay!

This first challenge is asking us to do paint marbling as shown on page 43 of the book.  This is one of the most manageable techniques (due to my clumsiness and limited skills) and I'm more than happy to try something new with it.  As I was going through the inspiration pieces by the design team members, I noticed that it is not "a must" to use multiple colors.  Right.  Why did I even think that I need to use many colors for this technique?  Previously I liked to do paint marbling with a combo of bright colors but this time, I'm using just one color - Shaded Lilac:

Shaded Lilac is one of my favorite colors (I have been using it non-stop these days) but what you see may seem a bit darker than what you think Shaded Lilac should be, that's right because I've added a bit of Dusty Concord and Seedless Preserves Distress Ink on top.  I like how it turned out!  Looks like this technique works perfectly great with just one color and I'm going to try it with others! :)

Do you like this awesome sketch from Sketchbook Saturday #121?  I always love Iwona's sketches and appreciate how she places various elements on her cards, this one is no exception.  These days I have not been crafting as much as before but once I saw this sketch I jumped on it immediately!  Check her sketches out and I'm sure you'll like them.

I used my newly acquired stamp set Make a Wish from Mama Elephant for the sentiment (how many firsts are there on this card? ) and I like its big bold sentiments that are very popular these days.  The flower and the leaves come from a retiring Stampin Up! set.  The flower was colored with distress markers while the leaves are cut from two shades of green cardstock. I added a thin strip of Gypsy cardstock and a Ivy Lane paper panel to finish it up.

I'm also linking up my card to the following:
Pause Dream Enjoy - Flowers
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes
Crafting by Designs - Anything Goes
Sister Act Card Challenge - Anything Goes
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 5, 2014

A (neutral) birthday card

Today I'm sharing a birthday card that is  gender neutral:

I was inspired by the challenge at CASE Study #189.  Vida Miller made a cute card with rows of hearts in different color and the sentiment was stamped in the open area of a heart-shaped die cut.  The rows of hearts reminded me of this Hero Arts die that has yet received any love from me.

I used the same color scheme for my card, so I've tucked strips of sky, buttercup and sorbet cardstock beneath the die cut background.  Instead of having hearts in the middle, I opted to use circles and big bold black sentiment which create a nice contrast against the background.

Be sure to check out the CASE Study #189 page.  There are tons of inspiration there!

My card is also linking up to:
Scrappy Hands - strips of paper
613 Avenue - Anything Goes
Challenges for everybody - Anything Goes
Dream Valley - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

You mean the WORLD to me

When I saw this sketch on Monday I thought there are many things I could do with it but alas, time has flown by before I even get a chance to play with it.

I guess it's a good time to break open my new Lawn Fawn set called Wish You Were Here.  I bought this set with making masculine cards in mine but I want to make something not so manly, so I got pink and red in this card:

Do you think it is still strictly masculine?  Oh well, it all depends on what the recipient thinks.......

Minutes before I can link up to Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge.  Gotta run.
Thanks for stopping by!