Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nativity Starburst - one last Christmas card to share!

We are still in the twelve days of Christmas, so I thought I would share one last card that didn't make it onto the blog before the big day.
I stamped the Indadinkado nativity scene on color laser paper (Memento ink, Rich Cocoa). I colored it in with markers (Sketch, Copic). The color laser paper really allows you to blend the colors without having to use so much ink to saturate the paper, and I was very pleased with the results. It is also much less expensive than the cardstock varieties that work well with Copics! I mounted it on Really Rust cardstock (SU) after punching a border (Arched Lattice, Martha Stewart) and gilded the border with a gold leafing pen (Gold, Krylon). The background is Mellow Moss cardstock (SU) that has been embossed with the Fleur de Lis folder (Cuttlebug) and edged with the leafing pen. A gold organza ribbon was tied into a multi-loop bow (Bow-Easy). I cut a slit just wider than the ribbon in the fold of the card, so the ribbon passes all the way around the card front, with ends taped under the Nativity panel.
The color is more accurate in the first picture, but this one shows the shiny stuff better! I am still loving the sparkle, and I used a blue gel pen (Sakura, Metallic Blue/Black)in the sky around the starburst. The star itself was accented with a glitter pen (Sakura, Stardust Clear), as was the halos on Mary, Joseph and the Baby.

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful twelve days of Christmas yourself! I hate it when people think it is all over after Dec. 25th, as the twelve days of Christmas are not the days leading up to Christmas, but the time from the Nativity to the arrival of the wisemen on Epiphany.

Your comments mean a great deal, and thanks for looking!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wisemen - Same Song, Second Verse!

If you recall, EVERYTHING (including the cats!!) was sparkling after my first glittered card, so I thought I'd better stay away from the hard stuff until I got a better handle on glitter control! Here is the same Wisemen collage stamp from Hero Arts, done with Prismacolor pencils and accented with metallic paint pen.
Wisemen collage card
I stamped the card base (SU Celery, I think) with the "Print Pattern" diamond background stamp (Stampin' Up!) with Marvy Ochre dye ink. Then I edged it with a gold leafing pen (Krylon). The collage was stamped with black Marvy dye ink on white cardstock and colored with Prismacolors and blended with odorless mineral spirits. The words and flourishes were accented with a fine point metallic gold gel pen. After trimming, the gold edge was added with a gold leafing pen (Krylon)and it was mounted on the base with dimensionals.

The ribbon was tied in a double looped bow on the Bow-Easy. Thank goodness for whoever invented this gadget, I love it!
Wisemen collage card
The music was embossed on a scrap of paper, torn, and sponged with Ochre and Pond Green Marvy dye inks. I embossed the music by first inking the stamp with VersaMark and then inking it with a red Marvy dye ink pad, then embossed with clear detail embossing powder. I use this technique all the time - it allows me to emboss with any ink, any color. I rarely use any other color of embossing powder since discovering this technique on Michelle Zindorf's blog. When I mounted it on the card, I folded it over the edge so it also appears on the inside card front. The ribbon wraps all the way around, so that appears on the inside of the card as well.

I hope you enjoyed this different card using the same stamp! I enjoy your comments very much and would love to hear what you think!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hero Arts Wise Men Collage - with Sparkle!!

Well, I am sure it happens sooner or later to every stamper. That brightly shining moment from which there is no turning back. That's right; I just discovered GLITTER. I started off small, adding a tiny little star to my Celtic Christmas cards with a Stardust clear glitter pen. Then my Nativity card had LOTS of Stardust glitter pen to show the rays of starlight falling on the scene. But now. . . I've moved on to the hard stuff, the real deal. . . loose glitter and glue.

The base is green SU cardstock - I am afraid I don't know the name of the color. Celery maybe? I hate it that they don't put the labels on the cardstock packages anymore. I embossed it with the original Cuttlebug snowflake embossing folder. I wanted to bring out the raised areas - normally I'd hit it with a VersaMark Dazzle pad, but I was afraid any stray glitter would stick to it like crazy! I also wanted a little more yellow color in the green, so I hit the raised areas with Y000 which warmed up the green just enough! A flourished red ribbon and a narrow satin ribbon with a triple loop bow (thank you Bow-Easy!) and Krylon gold leafing pen around the edge finished it off.

I love collage stamping - I do a lot with the emboss-resist technique. When I saw this series of collage stamps by Hero Arts, I couldn't resist - look at all the assemblage work they had done for me! I colored it with Copics and added white dots to accent the flourishes, then used a Tombow glue pen and added Stampendous red glitter and Art Institute gold glitter. I have to say, there are big differences in glitter - that Art Institute stuff is amazing! I also used a dark blue Sakura Stardust pen in the wise men postoid and in the snowflake backgound. I trimmed it out with a deckle scissors, ran a red Copic marker around the cut edges and mounted it on pop dots.

Here is the back of the card. I got this neat personalized unmounted stamp on eBay! This seller is in Malaysia, the prices are wonderful and I was pleased with the transaction. They are by Loongchai74 and you can see all the options here. He sent me proofs of the artwork before he made the stamps, and did not charge extra for custom artwork. I also got a wonderful circular address stamp for my envelope flaps. Just wanted to share in case any of y'all are looking for this kind of thing - it makes me really happy every time I see my new stamp, only now I want to order another that includes my blog address!

So, I need to know. What kind of glitter do you like best? Are there better glue pens than the Tombow? I had a hard time keeping a smooth flow of glue - I kept having to tap it and scribble to get it flowing again. I'd like to find a glue pen that flowed really smoothly. Please leave a comment and let me know!

I also have glitter EVERYWHERE. The cats are sparkling, and how it got in MY hair I do not know! Hmmmm. I think I feel some STICKLES coming on! :-) Leave a comment if you have any glitter management tips for me, LOL!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In the Beginning, a Child is Born...

As you may guess by the lack of snowmen and Santas around here, my very favorite kind of Christmas cards center around nativity scenes. The reason for the season, right? This card uses the "A Child is Born" set (Stampin' Up!, retired) which contains one of my favorite nativy scenes. Mary and Joseph look so happy and relieved and fascinated by the new baby, just like any new parents. I imagine Mary has just finished marveling at the tiny fingers and toes!

The base is Really Rust cardstock (SU). I stamped "In The Beginning" (Stamp Out Cute) with Brown (Marvy dye ink). This is an awesome stamp with the actual text from the beginning of Genesis. I sponged around the edges with the same ink, then I ran a Pale Gold leafing pen (Krylon) around the edges.
The image was stamped on Natural Ivory cardstock (SU) with Rich Cocoa ink (Memento)and cut and embossed in a Label One die (Spellbinders) and then colored with Copics. After coloring, I put the image back into the die to use it as a mask and sponged around the edges with Timeless Sepia and Ochre (Marvy dye ink). It was mounted on the base with pop dots, then hemp twine was wrapped and tied in a bow and old gold organza ribbon was tied in a square knot.

I shot this one without the flash to bring out the sparkle! I used a clear glitter pen (Sakura Stardust) to emphasize the rays of starlight pouring down, and also added the shimmer wherever the light touched their robes, and around the baby's face.

Inside, I stamped the sentiment that came with the set and cut it out with a Label Four die (Spellbinders). I sponged it with Ochre and Timeless Sepia (Marvy) before removing it from the die.
I think the contrast of rustic elements (color, twine, the sketchy style of the image) elegant lines (Label die cuts), and the shimmer (organza ribbon and glitter) are what make it work, in real life anyway. I wish the photgraph did it justice!

I love hearing from you - your comments are what makes blogging worthwhile!

Friday, December 11, 2009

And they wrapped the Babe in swaddling clothes...

When I first saw Waltzingmouse Stamps' "Celtic Heritage" set, I knew the baby wrapped in a cable or "plaited" blanket would be on this year's Christmas card. It made me think of Baby Jesus right away! Other stamps are from Waltzingmouse "Irish Blessings" set and the inside sentiment is by Sweetgrass Stamps. (Note - Edited to add Labels, a forgotten photo and a stamp credit)

Cardstock is SU Chocolate Chip, Bravo Burgundy, Handsome Hunter and Not Quite Navy. Light cardstock is SU Natural Confetti - it has great little flecks in it that add a lot of interest.

Here is a closeup of the inside, with a passage from Isaiah (Sweetgrass) stamped in Rich Cocoa Memento ink and a beautiful knotwork border (Celtic Heritage) stamped with VersaMark and heat embossed in Ranger Gold embossing powder. The sentiment is the only "Christmas" stamp used in the whole card!! (Am I the only person who hears Handel's Messiah singing in my head whenever I read this passage? Just wondering!!)

First the shield (Celtic Heritage) was stamped, embossed and masked, and then the braided borders (Irish Blessings) were added plus the Welcome (Irish Blessings). The knotwork squares(Irish Blessings) were added last using a Stamp-a-ma-jig for placement. The opening was cut out with an Xacto knife. The baby (Celtic Heritage) was stamped in Rich Cocoa Memento, then I masked the baby and the stamped the small open Lunette (Irish Blessings) twice to form a full circle for the halo. There are larger solid and open versions of the Lunette in Celtic Heritage, but this is the tiny one from Irish Blessings. The baby is colored with Copics, then adhered to the inside of the cardfront to show through the window opening. I drew in a little star in the upper shield opening using a Sakura Stardust clear pen.

Because the Copics that I colored the baby with saturated the backside of the paper, which showed inside the top of the card, I used a Nestibilities Label Four to cover it up on the inside. It is gold embossed with Nestie-friendly Waltzingmouse stamp (Vintage Labels Four) and then stamped with "One hundred thousand welcomes" in Gaelic and English (Irish Blessings) and "Little One" (Celtic Heritage). I thought this was a really elegant cover up and it continued the idea from the front of welcoming the baby Jesus!

More closeups of the card fronts:

It was so much fun to create these cards without using ANY stamps that would be normally thought of as being for Christmas, with the exception of the inside sentiment of course! I thought Welcome was an appropriate message for Jesus' arrival on Earth; it is certainly expressive of the spirit in my heart at this, or anytime of year! Please leave a comment to let me know what you think of my little swaddled Baby Jesus!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cuttlebugged Gift Card Holders

This is the time of year for gift card holders, and I got the idea for these from Sharon Johnson's No Time to Stamp blog in this post. I did not have any velcro tape on hand, so instead I used brads or slits to hold the flap closed.

These gift card holders are each made of a strip of 8½ inch paper (SU Mellow Moss or Old Olive) folded twice to create a pocket and a flap. It was super quick to do on my Scor-Pal! The bottom flap is folded up and secured on both sides with tape runner or brads and a brad or slit holds the top flap closed. A border punched strip (Fiskars) is adhered to the edge of the top flap. All edges are sponged.

I cuttlebugged each one twice as they were too long to fit in the folder. Except for the holly holder, each pocket flap is embossed with a different folder than the top flap. The score lines showed me where to place the paper in the folder, so the patterns start and stop in the right place.

Except for the holly version, they all have a cardstock panel with decorative cardstock adhered to the top flap (SU Real Red & Basic Grey - Figgy Pudding) which is held shut with a decorative snowflake brad or a curved slit. The back is also covered with Red/DP panels.

All have "To You from me" (Stampin'Up!) stamped, punched, and edges sponged, popped up on dimensionals on top of a larger punched circle and/or punched scalloped circle.
I enhanced the cuttlebug embossing on most of them by shading the raised areas with a white Prismacolor pencil.
The holly holder is a little different. The Cuttlebug holly folder is so beautiful that I did not need any decorative paper to enhance it. I Cuttlebugged the back and top flap in the first pass, and the pocket flap in the second pass. I lightly shaded the raised areas with green, red, and brown Prismacolor pencils. Then I stamped and gold heat embossed flourishes (Indadinkado Flourises set) in the open areas, then outlined the gold flourishes with a black pen. The scalloped circle was gilded with a gold Krylon leafing pen.

I wish I had noticed that the red edge I put behind the scallop had slipped up on one side - I should have retaped it before taking the photo. This provided a straight edge to fasten under the two brads.

Please leave a comment - I would love to hear what you think!
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