Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Challenge continues...

So far I am still caught up on the Index Card a Day challenge. I will admit that a couple times I missed a day and had to do 2 cards the next day but life happens and right now I am on track.

I only share a few of my cards on the blog (because I am not thrilled with every card I make). If you want to see them all...the good, the bad and the meh you can see them on my ICAD 2017 Pinterest board. 


Day 20: YinYang



This was drawn with Sharpie fine line pen and colored with Inktense pencils. I then rubbed Distress Ink Peacock Feathers around the edges.


Day 22: Vanishing Point



This is outlined with Sharpie fine line pen and colored with Prismacolor pencils.


Day 23: Alice in Wonderland



This was done with Inktense pencils.


Day 24: Caravan or RV



I am NOT a camping person. I love indoor plumbing and hate bugs! But I think the 'glamper' campers are super cute.
This was outlined with Copic liner pen and colored with Spectrum Noir alchohol markers.


Day 25: Portrait


A pencil sketch of my favorite baby giraffe, Tajiri. 

Here is the photo I used for reference. 




I did more than just index cards this week.
I received my order from Create and Craft. I ordered some hot foil stamps for my GoPress and Foil machine.
I think my biggest complaint about the machine is how difficult it is to find stamps in the USA.

I ordered TODO hot foil stamps which are the exact same thing just from a different maker/machine.

But even the selection from Create and Craft is dwindling down to nothing very quickly.

If you have the GoPress and Foil machine and would like to read my tips for perfect foiling every time go here



This is the TODO Seahorse stamp. Isn't he cute? That is the main reason I bought him lol

He is about 4 inches tall and as you can see, he foiled perfectly. I am thinking I will cut him out and create an underwater scene card for him.



I was super excited for this stamp. TODO's All Over Dot background. It is about 4.25" x 4.25". 
Again, perfect foiling, no missed dots or splotchy application.

Image the possibilities. A background on a card (ok that is kind of a given)
But what about foiling dots on your die cuts?
Or foiling the full square and then cutting die cuts from that?
Or cutting the square into stripes or smaller squares to use in mosaic patterns?

I think I am going to have a lot of fun with this one.

I also purchased the Butterfly & Flowers background. It is about an 1/8 inch bigger than the dots but I haven't had time to try it out yet. I will show it to you once I do.

And last week I promised to show you the birthday card I made for my sister.



This is the Adirondack Chair box card from SVG Cuts. It is part of the Garden Party box card set.

Isn't it cute?

That covers my past week. The temperatures have been in the triple digits the past few days. Ugh!!!
I hope you are all finding ways to stay cool.

Until next time...Happy Crafting!



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Five and a half weeks to go

Working a full time job really cuts into my art time! Then again it allows me to buy all the wonderful supplies and gadgets that catch my eye. Such a dilemma.

Thankfully my index cards don't take much time (usually) and this is a slow card making time of year.

I am in the middle of week 3 and, for the most part, not disliking any of the prompts.

I have five cards to share with you today.

Day 11: Tetrahedron (I had to google that one....it is a 3 sided pyramid)


Ok, so technically this isn't a tetrahedron because I am pretty sure the Egyptian pyramids have 4 sides but I don't care.
The pyramid and camel were colored with alcohol inks, the sand is Inktense pencils and the sky is Pan Pastels.


Day 12: Wings



The dragonfly body was painted with Inktense pencils, the wings were drawn with fine line Sharpie and then painted with Iridescent Blue Twinkling H2Os.


Day 14: Leaves


So I picked up a new embossing folder a few days ago and then get this prompt of 'leaves'. Seemed like fate to me. :-)

I created the background by rubbing Distress Inks (scattered straw, bundled sage and pine needles) on foil then spritzing heavily with water. I then laid my card into the puddles to create the light yellow/green mottling. Once dry I debossed the card using Darice's Trop Leaf Background folder. I then rubbed Distress Black Soot over top. 

I stamped the leaf (EK Success Nostalgiques Botanicals set) with Distress Black Soot and colored it with alcohol markers.


Day 16: Rainbow


I read rainbow and immediately Rainbow Brite jumped into my head. I'm not sure why. I have never watched Rainbow Brite. I remember seeing her all over the place in the 80s but being an adult at that time and not having kids I'm not sure why she popped up this week. But here she is.  Gotta love those moon boots! lol

Her skin was colored with alcohol markers. Everything else was Inktense pencils.


Day 17: Sprout



And sticking with the animated character theme (lol) we have Green Giant's lil Sprout.
He was colored entirely with Prismacolor pencils. 

I am current with my Index Card a Day challenge (today is day 17) and had a few minutes here and there so I got a jump on birthday cards.


Here is this years card for my nephew. I love it, I think he will too.


This is from SVG Cuts and is the Side of Fries box card from the Pit Stop box card set. 

This was the easiest box card I have ever made. I think from start to finish was less than 30 minutes!

Don't they look real? They do in person too!

I made a card for my sister too but forgot to photograph it so I will try to remember to do that for next week.

Until then, Happy Crafting!



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Index Cards :Love Em or Hate Em

I am halfway into week 2 of the Index Card a Day challenge (ICAD). 
I never had an issue with the actual index cards before but this year they are driving me nuts. (and it is still the same batch of card from last year so ...)

The fact that I can't get color to lay down smoothly is bothering me (it never laid down smooth before so why that bothers me now I have no idea lol)

And my alcohol markers are bleeding uncontrollably....which is also bugging me.

Maybe I am just in a grumbling mood this year lol

So let me share a few cards from this week.

Day 5: Kawaii/Cute


I know this isn't Kawaii but she is cute. :-)
She is colored with alcohol markers. Gotta love those pink toe nails and spikes!


Day 7: Alliteration


She Sells Sea Shells by the Sea Shore
Again, colored with alcohol markers.


Day 9: Ombre


The girl was colored with alcohol markers.
The mod wallpaper and checked flooring were colored with Prismacolor pencils.


Day 10: Sunshine Yellow


We have a routine at our house. Each morning, after we are up and dressed, we open the blinds so that when the sun comes up it will slowly spread it's beams across the bed.
Minnie loves to snuggle in and follow the beams until they disappear.

If we forget to open the blinds she comes and lets me know lol

She isn't on the bed in the picture but I gave her a pillow to lounge on.

The cat is stamped. I have no idea who makes this stamp. It is part of a set of 16 clear cat stamps that I found on ebay for $2 from China. I took a chance that they were decent quality and they are but there are no markings and no label.

The window, baseboard and pillow were drawn with a Sharpie fine line and colored with Prismacolor pencils.

The sunbeam is Inktense pencil.

I hope you all have sunbeams you can follow this weekend.

Happy Crafting!




Sunday, June 04, 2017

Holy Cow! It's June!!!

How did an entire month slip by since my last post? Ugh!!!

Maybe because I didn't do much in May? lol
I have a hard time getting motivated in May. I really only have a couple projects I need to do....my Dad's birthday card (for the end of the month) and Father's Day cards for mid June. That leaves a lot of time where I have no ideas of what to create. (because I procrastinate and don't make those cards until the last minute lol)

Here is my Dad's birthday card.



It is the Hamburger Box card from SVG Cuts, the Sunday with Dad set. I think it is such a cute card and really easy to make.
Dad liked it too.

And I have his Father's Day card ready to mail (but not the cards for hubby or my father in law lol)



This is the Tackle Box box card. Isn't this just the coolest card! It is also from the Sunday with Dad set from SVG Cuts. 

I have to say, although it is easy to assemble, it took me all afternoon! (all those tiny pieces for all that tackle) I hope he likes it.



In case you missed it, there was an all day craft day on HSN in May.
I really need to stop recording those to watch after work. I know the couple things I want and order them at the beginning of craft day but then I watch all the recordings and see other things.....very bad (and expensive lol)



This is from a Crafter's Companion die cutting set. It is a flip card. Yeah, I have flip card dies already from Anna Griffin and I have a flip card cartridge. But they all have differences. And when you make as many cards as I do you enjoy having lots of options.

This is the front of my card. The hello in a circle was created in Cricut Design Space (see, my toys play nicely together)  The decorative panels are cutting dies from the Crafter's Companion set. I ran them through the Cuttlebug using a wood grain folder.

This set actually comes with lots of extras to make really intricate cuts in your cards. Sarah calls them 'kinetic' cards because they have movement.

You can see the entire set here.




The center circle 'flips' to reveal this little guy. I picked him up at Treasure box designs a couple weeks ago. He is part of their Stuffy Pals line and currently on sale. I changed up the colors a bit from what they show but he is the raccoon file.



Here is close up. Isn't he a cutie? His circle background was embossed with Darice's Flower Frenzy embossing folder.

And lastly...



It's ICAD season!!!!!

Yep the Index Card a Day challenge began on June 1st! This is my third year participating.
I will be showing some of my cards throughout the next couple months but not all of them.
If you want to see them all they will be posted on my Pinterest board.



Each year I make a matchbox style box to hold my cards. Here is my 2017 box. I cut the box pieces and the letters ICAD with my Cricut Explore. The numbers are from Anna Griffin's  Wishful Thinking die set. The page frame and pointing hand are from her Perfect Planner die set. 



Prompt #1: Sunrise

I used Gellatos to create my sunrise. 



Prompt #3: Vintage

The frame was cut using a cut & emboss die from Darice. I then rubbed Tea Dye and Walnut Distress Inks around the edges. The happy couple is from Tim Holtz new Paper Dolls set of die cuts. There are so many great images in that set. I had a hard time deciding who to use. The background was embossed using Anna Griffin's Cuttlebug folder Empire Arches. I then rubbed Distress Oxide Worn Lipstick all over to bring out the texture.


It looks like summer has finally arrived. I hope you all find lots of time to enjoy the sun and find lots of inspiration.

Happy Crafting!!!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Go Press and Foil Machine revisited

Back in March I wrote a review for the Couture Creations Go Press and Foil Machine. If you missed it you can check it out here.

For the most part, I liked the machine but I had some issues that were bugging me.
Mostly, the inability to get full, even foiling on the large frame stamp die.

Well, I was a bit obsessed with giraffes for a couple months (so was the rest of the world so don't judge me lol) but I went back to this machine this week.

I found a video on YouTube that really opened my eyes. It is from Scrapbooking Made Simple. You should check it out. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sVWZ5BBe1i8

For me, since I already knew what this machine was 'supposed' to do, I was looking for some sort of tip on how to get even foiling. She says several times....there is hardly any pressure, you almost think there is no pressure it is so light. That was a light bulb statement for me.

I use my Cuttlebug all the time and I am sure you do too (or your Big Shot or whatever crank type embossing machines are out there) and we all know you need pressure to get a good cut or deep emboss.

We, that is one of the big secrets to this machine.....next to no pressure. You really think surely it needs more pressure. But in reality you should barely feel any resistance.

So, no pressure and longer heating time. Those are my tips for you today!

Here is my first attempt at the frame from a couple months ago.


See how the foil is sparse? That bugged me. Shouldn't a foil machine, when using their dies and their foil and their directions, give you even foiling? I thought so.

Here is my frame from yesterday.


It is Perfect!
What did I do?
I laid the stamping die on the machine, closed the lid and let it heat up for about a minute.
I then laid the foil, background card stock and a shim (a piece of 110 lb white card stock from Staples folded in half) over all of it and closed the lid.
Then I waited. Well actually, I took some pictures of other projects, went and filled my water bottle, talked to Minnie...  I waited probably 5 minutes.
Everything was evenly heated when I ran it through my Cuttlebug.
I rolled it through very, VERY slowly....3 times.
I then removed my foiled cardstock and let it cool completely before removing the foil (this only takes a few seconds)

I was so happy I ran and showed Minnie. She was not impressed....she is a cat after all! lol (Tucker was always impressed but he was much smarter...sorry Minnie lol)


I wanted to be sure this wasn't a fluke so I grabbed the rose die. It's the third stamping die that came with my kit from HSN. I hadn't tried it yet because I didn't want to be disappointed with that one too.


The photo is dark so that the foiling shows up. Look at that! Even coverage! There is a stray bit of foil near the top but that was because I didn't trim my foil small enough...easily corrected.


The pink worked beautifully too!

I used the exact same steps as the frame. I don't think you can really over heat the dies and paper. The machine shuts off after 20 minutes or so if you forget about it. My theory is that if the heat has penetrated all the layers on the machine it works better. Less heat loss moving it to your embossing machine and actually rolling it back and forth.

So I had to retry using cutting dies. Remember, before they were cutting through my card stock as well as foiling. (there is that pressure issue again)


Not any more. I used the same 'sandwich' as on the frame. The cutting dies are thinner than the stamping dies so I really thought there was not enough pressure. I couldn't feel any resistance at all!

But I got perfect foiling with just a slight indentation in the card stock. Yay!

So, what do you do with just an outline of a butterfly?


I pressed mine into some wet Distress Inks. My intention was to then cut it out and ink the edges darker but I like the swirls of ink around the edges so I am going to hold off and think about it for a while. It could make a very nice card front as is....just add a sentiment and there you go. 

And then I thought....it is supposed to foil chipboard pieces. I don't have any (well that's not entirely true....I have some I'm just not sure where lol) but what about foiling die cuts? If I increase the thickness of the shims to mimic the thickness of chipboard...



I could not get a decent picture of either of these but you can see it is blotchy on the 'Father's Day" and you can see the blue card stock showing on the Hello.

I am thinking thicker shims, just a little thicker. Maybe a piece of cereal box....I'll work on it.

But these are not a total loss.



The foil resists inks. I grabbed my Distress Black Soot and rubbed all over the Father's Day. I then rubbed it with a tissue to remove the excess ink. It now looks like distressed metal. The picture doesn't do it justice. It is pretty cool!

And I rubbed Distress Tea Dyed on the Hello. It is very close in color and that one now looks like aged metal. Again, very cool.

The potential with this machine has increased for me. (and I thought it had potential before)

I hope, if you have been struggling with your Go Press and Foil Machine, that this helps you out. 

Once I work out how to get die cuts evenly foiled I will let you know....imagine being able to foil ANY die cut shape (even Cricut shapes) without them having to be cut from toner paper and run through the Minc (which I still love and use)

Happy Crafting and Happy Mother's Day this Sunday!



Oh, and I am still obsessed with giraffes!


Don't tell anybody but this is from one of the BadBaby round robin journals. We aren't supposed to share any pictures until after the swap ends but I couldn't resist (and how can you be a BadBaby if you don't break any rules?)

It was so hard to resist tearing out the pages and keeping this. :-(






Friday, April 28, 2017

Everybody's working for the weekend

UGH! What a week!!!
Sunday I injured my right elbow to the point where I couldn't grip anything, couldn't straighten it completely and basically couldn't do a darn thing with it.

It makes working on a computer and writing stuff very difficult when you can't move your arm!!!

So, needless to say, I had a horrible week! But today is Friday, I got off work early AND my arm is about 80% better....so I can actually use it!!!!!!! Yay!

All morning I just kept telling myself....just a couple more hours, just 60 minutes, just.... and you can go play in your art room. 

So, I played! :-D

If you are like me you get new pretty card stock or a new sketch book and you are a bit apprehensive about using it. The thought running through your mind is....I don't want to mess it up.

Well that has been me for the past week, not that I could actually do much but I wanted to and yet didn't want to lol

A little over a week ago I bought a new journal. It is gorgeous! I saw some when I was on vacation but they didn't have colors or designs that I liked...well not together if you know what I mean. So I looked them up online when I got home and ordered the design I wanted in the color I wanted and it is so beautiful!



It is a gorgeous dark teal. The photo is actually pretty close. It is about 9 inches tall and 6 inches wide and made of leather. It smells wonderful  :-)

I ordered it from Oberon Design.
On vacation I kept drooling over all the journals (three different sizes) and really wanted to bring one home with me. We had to search all over the display to find a name of the maker. So I go online once we get home and am looking at all the fabulous designs and see a dragonfly cover and think, "Gee that looks just like my wallet". Sure enough, stamped inside my wallet is Oberon Design. So I know their products hold up really well because I have carried that wallet in my pocket (hate purses lol) every single day for about 10 years and it still looks brand new!

But back to my story lol

I have been really nervous about actually using it. But with the week I had today was the day.


I drew April. I miss seeing her sweet face every day.  I know it isn't perfect but I am pretty pleased with it. I struggle drawing animals and people so the fact that I can recognize what it is is a huge plus to me lol

Here is the online photo I was using for reference.


The angle is a bit off but for now I can live with it.

That's all I have for this week. Not much to share when you are out of commission with a gimpy wing lol

I'm looking forward to some springtime weather this weekend. Maybe I will find some crafty inspiration.

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Missing my giraffes

 Congratulations April on the birth of your beautiful baby boy. 4/15/2017

For those of you that might have spent the last 2 months in a cave, April the giraffe became an international super star as the world watched and waited for her, via live YouTube, to give birth to her 4th calf. Last Saturday we were rewarded with the opportunity to witness the birth and the first wobbly steps of her sweet baby.

I have enjoyed every minute of the live cam. April is such a sweet lady and had such a calming effect on not just me but millions of people around the world.


 Who could resist this adorable face???


Thank you Animal Adventure Park for sharing this wonderful journey with the world.

But, as they told us from the beginning, once the baby was born the camera would be taken down. Now you wouldn't think that would be a big deal. But it was. After spending every waking minute for 2 months watching the live feed. Yes, my computer and ipad were always tuned into April. When the camera was turned off yesterday there was suddenly a great void in my heart. And I was not alone. Thousands of people have been expressing their sadness on the AAP Facebook page. We all fell in love with this beautiful giraffe. She became a part of our lives, our families.

How do I process my sadness?  Through art of course.  :-)

I am in a small canvas swap with the BadBabies and while picking up my 3x3 canvas I saw a 4x6 and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

My original thought was just April and baby (who at this time still does not have a name). I googled "giraffe mom and baby silhouette" and didn't really find what I wanted so I changed the search to "baby giraffe silhouette" and this popped up.


After watching baby gallop and frolick around the stall for a week I knew this was exactly what I wanted.

But then I thought Oliver should be included since he is the proud papa.

I found this image of 2 giraffes and in Cricut Design Space I removed the giraffe on the right.

Cricut Design Space is so awesome. You can upload images of many types and then manipulate them and cut them with your Cricut Explore.

I welded the 2 above images to create this single cut file.


Now I have my giraffe family.

I used a technique called Paint Vinyl Paint Peel (PVPP).
I base coated the entire canvas in black acrylic paint.

I then cut out the giraffes in vinyl and applied that over the black paint.

Now the magic begins.


I painted my sunset sky OVER the vinyl. If you look closely you can see the vinyl under the paint.
I ended up painting 2 coats to cover the black (I probably should have done 3 but...)


For some reason, the vinyl popped up at the base of the baby's leg so I knew I was going to need to repair that spot but the rest held down beautifully.

I painted a sun and then waited for all the paint to dry.


Then I simply peeled off the vinyl and Voila!

Isn't it cool how you can paint the sun on top, and yet by peeling off the vinyl, it now appears behind the giraffe's head?

I have used this technique several times now and love it more and more each time!
I could have painted the giraffes by hand but probably would not have gotten such crisp edges. 
This technique gave me exactly the image I had in my head.

And now I have a permanent reminder of my giraffe family and those wonderful 2 months.

Happy Crafting!