Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Little Less Conversation...

Today is a quick and easy card day. I also had a strange idea and made a bizarre discovery--but we'll get to that in a minute.

I'd received some new Cuttlebug embossing folders that I've been wanting to try out. So this card uses one of the new 5" x 7" folders entitled "Conversation". This folder is one of six in a new set coming soon from ProvoCraft called 'Love Is In The Air'. (This is also the same set that was an early release to HSN and sold as 'Romance'.)

The base of the card is a piece of Bazzill Bling textured cardstock in the color "High Heels". The mat for my card is a piece of scrap red cardstock (not sure of the brand) cut to 4" x 4 1/2". I ran the mat cardstock through my Cuttlebug in the "Conversation" folder. I was pleased with the overall look, but thought it needed a little bling. That's when I had the bizarre idea. I took some Tsukineko Dew Drop Brilliance in "Pearlescent Beige" and used Kleenex to apply a light buff coating to the embossed mat. The result is rather remarkable. It gives the conversation heart a bit more definition, while imparting a sparkly sheen to the paper. It really mimics the look of a mica cardstock (which is typically much more expensive). So, I suppose the lesson is EXPERIMENT. Find new ways to use old products in unexpected ways. Perhaps it won't always work, but for every failure you're sure to find numerous new discoveries to set off your work. I'm not sure what possessed me to try beige ink on red paper--but the result was totally unexpected and perfect for this particular card project.

The sentiment is also done with the Cuttlebug. I used an A2 die from a combination die/embossing folder set entitled "Love Language". The final touches were a piece of Stampin' Up! silk ribbon in "Real Red" and a couple of punch-outs using the SU! Small Heart Punch (#117193, $5.95). I love the look the heart punch-outs have against the darker color of the cardstock interior. Visual interest is always so important in creating eye-catching projects. Until next time, as always, keep crafting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It's A Bird...

Today simple and easy card features a die cut from the new licensed ProvoCraft Cricut cartridge 'Superman'.

For this card project, I chose a base cardstock from Die Cuts With A View (DCWV) 'Modern Loft' paper stack. As this was obviously going to be a masculine-inspired card, I thought the brick pattern was reminiscent of a background panel one might see in an actual comic strip. I used a Chai Tea stain to ink the edge of my cardstock, which was cut to 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and scored at 4 1/4" to form an A2 sized card. The corners were clipped using my Stampin' Up! tag corner punch.

The diecut was cut on my Cricut Expression at 4 1/2". I did shadow cut with Bazzill corduroy textured cardstock in Raven. For the layering pieces, I cut them out of Bazzill corduroy textured cardstock in Snow. The reason I cut the layering pieces out of white cardstock is that I wanted to use my Copic Sketch markers to "color" in the face and hair details. I think the handcoloring gives the diecut a bit more "pop" and comic book realism (than if I had just used corresponding colored cardstock). I used a blend of E00 (Skin White), E11 (Barely Beige), E13 (Light Suntan) and E15 (Dark Suntan) for the facial features and shading. I used B29 (Ultramarine) for the hair highlight. I also went back in with a Copic Atyou Spica Glitter pen in Sky Blue to add a little oomph to Superman's locks. (He is a SUPER hero after all, lol.) Finally, to achieve those come-hither baby blues, I used Clearsnap Smooch metallic ink in Azure for intensity and sparkle. (Am I the only one fanning myself!? Wait, don't answer that.) The sentiment stamp is from Unity Stamp Co. and seemed appropriate. It was stamped using Tsukineko Memento ink in Tuxedo Black.

'Superman' is a terrific addition to your Cricut cartridge library if you have men in your life--big or little. It's also a terrific resource for themed parties and decorations--as it includes three-dimensional character boxes, banners, party favors, Clark Kent spectacles, treat bags and much more. Of course, it features several variations on that fabulous Superman logo and a complete font set.

Now, I must be off. (I have to go figure out what size I need to cut my Clark Kent glasses at. Don't judge. Or at least, don't tell me.)

Trust me. I know.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Simply Adorned

Stampin' Up! announced its line of customizable jewelry pieces several months ago. However, some issues with quality control kept the line from debuting until the recent Occasions Mini Catalog. I finally got around to playing with a couple of pieces I purchased to try out.

The idea behind the 'Simply Adorned' line is indeed simple. It consists of an oval link bracelet and necklace (available in two lengths) with charms available in different sizes and shapes. The charms are key to the "adorned" part of the concept. These nickel-plated charms are locket-style pieces with glass fronts and backs. There is a clasping mechanism that allows you to open the charms and create your own mini-artworks to display. Of course, you can use photographs or other keepsakes--but the fun is really in using your creativity, stamps, and other crafting supplies to create little expressions of yourself to wear for others to see.

The first piece I purchased was the 34" Simply Adorned chain (#116853, $12.95). The chain has an alternating oval link pattern to it with a bar and toggle closure and a 'Simply Adorned/Stampin' Up!' hang tag. (The chain is also available in a shorter 24" length.) To go along with it, I purchased the Simply Adorned rectangular (1" x 1 1/2") charm (#116798, $18.95). The charm features a tempered bevel glass front and a flat glass back. The nickel-plated charm frame attaches to your chain via a lobster claw clasp.

Inspired by the upcoming Valentine's holiday, I worked a quick design for my charm using some decorative paper, metallic inks, a white pen and a bit of sketching. For a quick example, I don't think it turned out half bad. I look forward to making new inserts and to giving these to the important people in my life. A little reminder to carry around their neck of my love and devotion.

Wherever today takes you, do something unexpected and nice for someone. We can all use a little unexpected love in these days. Have a happy Monday and may February bring us all the bounty of love.

(p.s. Don't forget to sign-up for Giveaway #2 in the previous post!)