Friday, August 7, 2009


One of the things that fascinates me most about paper crafting (and crafting, in general) is choosing colors for a project. I swear I can literally spend hours flipping through reams of cardstock, paper stacks, mat stacks and decorative papers browsing and matching, placing swatches and pages side-by-side, changing my mind again and again. I guess in the end--and something I find true of many crafters--we are all paper addicts. Can you really ever have enough paper? I, myself, am trying to debunk this myth apparently. I would never admit this in public, but I think when you have so much paper you actually have to pack some of it away, there might be a problem. But, then again, I tell my therapist it's just my back-up plan.

This card began with a scrap piece of paper left over from a card project from a few days ago (the chandelier card). It was a strip of lovely cardstock from the new Die Cuts With A View stack called "Downtown Loft" that is an exclusive to JoAnn's. It was a green tiled cardstock that had squares of high-gloss interspersed throughout. Since it wasn't large enough to actually use as a card base or mat, I decided to take one of my Martha Stewart punches ("Oak Leaf") down from the rack and punch out as many pieces as I could from the scrap.

As I started playing with my punched-out pieces, I soon was fascinated with a wreath-like shape. I punched out a 1 3/8" circle of white cardstock and and 1 3/8" circle of decorative paper from scraps. Using a Zig 2-way adhesive pen, I attached each leaf stem to the back of the white cardstock circle. Once it was complete, I adhered the decorative paper circle to the white circle. Then I stared at it for a while and decided it "needed" a bit more __________? I ended up piercing a hole through the center and using a Stampin' Up! Corduroy Button in Kiwi Kiss. (Are we sensing a green theme?)

Next, I went looking for papers to mount my creation on. After much thought, I ended up choosing Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Fairway for my A2 card base. The card mat is from the DCWV "Taj Mahal" mat stack. After everything was adhered together, I was struck by the fact that an Indian influenced design worked so well with the seemingly incongruent wreath design. One might even daresay it's rather "Christmas-y" in it's overall look. Yet, it could serve as a general everyday notecard.

Sometimes it is a game of trial and error. But, that's not really the right term. For in my opinion, there are no errors...just ideas that don't quite workout like you thought they might. Expressing your creativity and experimenting is a very large part of the entire crafting process.

Keep coloring your world....and as always, crafting...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

I am completely enamored by this new Stampin' Up! Halloween stamp called "All Hallow's Eve" (#113264, $17.95). It's a very large stamp and is deeply etched for maximum detail. I will admit that the size makes it a bit cumbersome to stamp with (and you may have to stamp a few times before you get a print that you're truly happy with). You may also want to ink your stamp with a brayer for larger and quicker coverage.

The card base is Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Flame. The image was stamped on Stampin' Up! Whisper White cardstock with Tsukineko Memento ink in Tuxedo Black. The card mat and base were punched with the Stampin' Up! Tag Corner Punch (#107215, $6.95). The ribbon is from artiste extraordinaire Marah Johnson and Creative Imaginations (LOVE IT!). I used a Sakura Metallic Ink Pen in Orange Flame for accent and a Stampin' Up! Stampin' Write Journaling Pen in black for the freehand sentiment.

May your ghosts and goblins always bring treats...and Keep Crafting!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cricut Exploration: Home Decor

I have a horrible confession to make. Over the weekend, I finally took my poor ignored Cricut Expression off the shelf and played with him. It's not my intent to be a neglectful father. However, my limited crafting space does not allow me to leave my Circut set up for easy use. I'll admit, it's a bit of laziness on my part; That, and a combination of being busy using other techniques and ideas.

This weekend, I decided to explore the Cricut Solutions Home Decor cartridge. After a few imperfect cuts and a blade change, I made a few elements for some card layouts. I really enjoy the modern and fashion-forward look of the cuts on this cartridge.

This first card features the bumblebee cut at 3". This card also features an embossed layer using the exclusive Stampin' Up! Elegant Bouquet Textured Impressions folder by Sizzix. I used Stickles in Fruit Punch to highlight the center of each flower. The bottom is trimmed with the Stampin' Up! Scallop Edge punch. I enhanced the Cricut cutout with a pair of googly eyes and a bit of glitter pen. But my favorite element is the wings. I used a piece of clear acrylic plastic to back the wings showcasing a design of black swirls and flourishes. I really love the effect.

The next card uses the stylized cupcake image on Home Decor cut at 3". The base and mat cardstocks are both Bazzill Bling. The sentiment stamp is Stampin' Up! The real highlight of this card is the coloration of the cupcake. I was striving for an airbrushed (without actually airbrushing) look using my Copic Sketch markers. Using a lot of blending, I think I achieved a fairly decent interpretation of the coloration.

The final card features the chandelier cut from Home Decor. I absolutely ADORE this cut. I cut it at 3" in a yellow Bazzill cardstock. I then used Copic 110 to color in the chandelier leaving the original yellow "bulbs" uncovered. The chandelier is attached to a strip of DCWV Modern Loft cardstock that has been edged with the Stampin' Up! Eyelet Border punch. I used a Stampin' Up! clear rhinestone brad to attach the chandelier to the strip. The sentiment stamp is from Unity Stamp Company. The base cardstock is from the Die Cut With A View Downtown Loft Stack. This is my absolute favorite stack of the new JoAnn Exclusive releases.

Until next time, Keep Crafting!