Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Fresh Brewed Designs

I already created my "official" entry to our Chapter 4 Challenge on The Altered Alice, but I love coloring these Fresh Brewed Designs digital images so much that I've found time to create a couple more projects! Be sure to check out all the amazing design team inspirations on our Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4 posts. There's still time to enter; the theme is TIME and the submissions close on Friday, May 27.

This is a little tabletop piece using the "Hatter Madness" image from FBD.  I LOVED coloring this image. As always it was printed on a B&W laser printer and colored with Copics. I cut it out with a Label Eleven Nestability, then I took the same die and traced a pencil line around the outer perimeter of the die onto a piece of black cardstock and cut it out with a scissors. This gives me a perfect eighth inch mat all the way around. I put the side with the pencil marks to the rear, so no need to erase them!

The background paper is River Rock, a wonderful true khaki color from Stampin' Up! - tan with green undertones. I love this color, it is one of my favorite neutrals and I used it on my second project today also! I embossed a piece with the Cuttlebug Clockworks embossing folder and sprayed it with Ranger's Perfect Pearls Mist in Copper. I kept the embossed piece perfectly flat while I sprayed it so the shimmering fluid collected in recessed areas. It looks INCREDIBLE in real life! I am particularly partial to these Perfect Pearl sprays because all the sprays have the mica shimmer suspended in clear fluid, so they only add the shimmer color without otherwise altering the base paper color. This makes them excellent for misting onto patterned paper as well.

I wish it was not so hard to capture the shimmer in a photograph! I drew the price tag words with a Copic Multiliner pen, then sponged and edged the panel with Distress Inks to age it.  The clock was a bright silver charm from the jewelry section. I used a wire cutter to snip the loop from the top and colored it with Copics to make the colors suit my vision.  I put it all together on a base cut with a Grand Label Eleven Nestability and edged the embossed border with a gold Krylon leafing pen.

I am so happy that I purchased this Tim Holtz Easel Back die! It will cut through thick material. My easel back is two layers of a cracker box, and I backed my project with a single layer of the box for stiffness! I am an incureable pack rat so I need to start using all these bits and pieces I save, LOL!

My next project features two more Fresh Brewed Designs images: "Wait for Me" and "Tick Tock, a background image. I took the Tick Tock image, duplicated it and rotated it around for my background paper pattern. I reduced the opacity of the layer so the lines printed gray instead of black and colored it with Copics. This made a great backdrop for the lovely tree image:

 I set off the ribbon and patterned paper with score lines. I used my Scor-Pal to first score a very light line from the front where I could see the edges of paper and ribbon, then I flipped it over to make a deep scored channel from the back using the first light scoring as a guide. I love my Scor-Pal so much I got the Scor-Buddy and matching mat to take along to friends' houses and I am thrilled with it, it is even easier to use.  I used the same trick as on the previous piece to create a mat for the focal point image. I cut the mat from white and used a Copic marker to make it the perfect shade to match my image. A fairly traditional card but I really like the simplicity of it, not my usual style at all!

That's it for this week! If I have time I may have one more for you next week; we'll see! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of my projects!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sunflower Happy Birthday for Janet

Happy birthday Janet!  My sister loves sunflowers and this is one of those "big" birthdays so I wanted to make her a really special card. I am so pleased with how it turned out!

I *HAD* to have this Flourishes Sunflower set when it came out, and it had yet to see ink. I combined it with another of my favorite Flourishes stamp sets that needed to get inky - the seed packet set!  This set is so cool - you can use any fruit or floral set to fill the main area! Click on the images above for more details about the stamps.  I stamped the frame, first on my good card stock and again in the middle of a thin sheet of copy paper, which I used as a mask after I cut out the openings in the image. Then I stamped the large sunflow, leaf, and bud in the opening.

I had a wonderful time coloring in the combined image with Copic markers.  I folded a piece of kraft card stock to make a pocket and adhered the colored image to the front. Inside the pocket is a manilla shipping tag stamped with some birthday sentiments and a Michaels gift card stuck on to the back of the tag!

I knew I wanted to use the Spellbinders Sunflower 1, one of my favorite of their non-nestie dies! I cut one leaf, one center and two of the petals out of white card stock which I then colored with Copics. I did not stay precise with this, I wanted more of a sketchy watercolor look and I love how it turned out!  I curled the lower ring of petals slightly by wrapping the tips of each petal around the barrel of a pen. I curled each of the top petals all the way from tip to base so they really lift up! I curled each half of the leaf around the barrel of the pen also.  To assemble all the bits, I glued each ring of petals to a card stock circle with Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue. The center is popped up with dimensional foam tape. 

Next, I knew I wanted to use this black and white gingham ribbon. I colored the ribbon with the same neutral Copics I used to color the banner on the seed packet, which toned it down to an ivory and black ribbon; perfect!  I tied the ribbon into a nice fat bow on the Bow-Easy and left nice long tails to frame the seed packet.

Now it was time to start assembling all these elements into a finished piece. I started by cutting two Labels Eleven Grand Nestabilities. The front one was cut out completely, and while it was still in the die, I sponged around the edges with Memento in Lady Bug Red and then Distress Ink in Wild Honey, then I edged it with a Krylon Leafing Pen in Pale Gold.  Before I cut the back piece, I had to include a folded area for the hinge. I trimmed the kraft card stock about an inch taller than it needed to be, and scored it and folded over the extra inch. When I placed it in the die, I put the fold line just inside the cutting edge on one side.  I adhered the folded over inch to the inside of the front cover, and this forms the hinge at the top of the card.

The bow was adhered first with Fast Grab Tacky Glue. The seed packet was adhered next with dimensional foam mounting tape. Then I glued the leaf and flower with Fast Grab Tacky Glue. I couldn't make my composition work with the whole sunflower, so I cut it in two and nudged the raw edge under the popped up seed packet. It turns out I liked it with the half-flower much better than with a whole one, and it allows the seed packet to stay at center stage. 

 My sister Janet LOVED the card. I am going to have to make something similar for myself because I had a REALLY hard time letting go of this one (see how much I love you Janet? *wink*).   And I've got a head start as the other half of that flower is still sitting on my work table! I'm going to add a twine loop through the fold of the card so Janet can use it as a little wall hanger or suspend it from a knob. The base is a just under 2/3 of a letter sized sheet of card stock, so it is a really nice size. LOVE the Grand Nestabilities, and I can't wait for them to release more of the label shapes in the larger size.

What do you think?  I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Altered Alice CHAPTER 4 - Week 1: TIME

Alice sighed wearily. `I think you might do something better with the time,' she said, `than waste it in asking riddles that have no answers.'
`If you knew Time as well as I do,' said the Hatter, `you wouldn't talk about wasting IT. It's HIM.'
`I don't know what you mean,' said Alice.
`Of course you don't!' the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. `I dare say you never even spoke to Time!'
`Perhaps not,' Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.'
`Ah! that accounts for it,' said the Hatter. `He won't stand beating.'
-- Chapter 7, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Time marches on so it's time for a new challege, and the challenge is to make something that represents TIME! Take your time, you have until May 27 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4:00) to show us YOUR timely creation - link it at the bottom of this post on The Altered Alice!  There are so many ways to represent time - you could use a clock or a watch, hourglass, calendar. . .  take some TIME to think about it and then be sure you submit on TIME because TIME flies!  Ok, I think I have it out of my system. . . or is that my clockworks?

Our sponsor this month is Fresh Brewed Designs, and they have some fabulous Alice in Wonderland digi images that some of the design team will be using. The randomly chosen winner of this month's challenge will receive five digi stamps of their choice from the Fresh Brewed Designs store!

While it is not required that you use Alice in Wonderland images, we do encourage it. Entries that feature some aspect of Wonderland will be entered twice for the prize drawing! 

Three guest designers will be joining us for May:  Jess Marin of My Scrap Diary will be sharing her project in our Week 3 post, and Retta Fox of Foxy's Weblog and Tracy (CuddlyBunny) of Not a Moment to Spare will be sharing their creations during our Week 4 inspiration post. I know you will enjoy seeing the work of these talented designers, two of whom are past entrants to our challenges!

Arched Triptych:

I created a freestanding arched triptych featuring clockworks and two of the Fresh Brewed Designs. The panels started as cut up chipboard packaging! I think it was a popcorn box and a cracker box that sacrificed their lives for this project, lol! On the two side panels, I embossed kraft card stock (Stampin' Up!) with the Cuttlebug Clockworks folder, then I sponged with gold and taupe inks, then I rubbed a black inkpad directly onto the edges to create a bold outline.  I glued the embossed card stock to the patterned side of the packaging so the back looks nice too!

This image is called "Wonderland" and you can find it with all of the Alice designs on this page. These Fresh Brewed Designs images are such fun to color, as you keep finding more and more details. For instance I had not immediatlely seen that the Caterpillar is puffing away on his hookah behind the mushroom!  I printed the images on color laser copy paper using a B&W laser printer. This is perfect for coloring with Copics, no worries about the printed ink smearing this way.

This image is called "I'm Late" and you can find it with all of the Alice designs on this page.  I love the way Alice is peering through the clock on this image. I also love the instant gratification of digi stamps as there is no waiting for shipping. Consider using one of Heather's designs for your own project!  I pasted the colored images onto card stock, trimmed them out, then pasted the trimmed out stiffened image onto black card stock. I cut the black layer out with a deckle edged scissors. I thought the rough edge went nicely with the blank inked edge on the panels, which were adhered to the arched panel with foam tape for dimension.

The center panel was masked with Tim Holtz Timeworks precut masks, airbrushed with Copics, then misted with Perfect Pearls Mist in Heirloom Gold. I love this stuff! I propped my image up at an angle when I misted it, and the metallic dripped and ran into the coolest texture, which looks so cool in real life! I popped up two Alice quotes from a Tweety Jill TJ Designs stamp set: "No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow." and "Begin at the beginning and go on until you  come to the end; then stop." The brown gears are from a Stampin' Up! set, and the Time stamp by Art Impressions was heat embossed with black detail powder. I adhered shiny aluminum HVAC duct tape to card stock, then die cut and embossed it with the Spellbinders Timeless Heritage die set.  I colored it with Copics, including the tiny watch hands that I glued on, and mounted it to the panel with foam tape.

The left side panel was topped with a key from the same collection.

The right side panel was topped with the padlock. I colored the panel black behind the keyhole so you wouldn't look through to the gold.

I stacked the center and one of the side panels and punched holes through both at the same time with a Crop-a-Dile. This way I could be certain that the holes lined up perfectly! Then I repeated it on the other side and threaded cotton string through the holes to lace the panels together. I thought this added some fun and interest, and it helped to have another pop of white to tie in the background of the images.

I hope you have enjoyed my Fresh Brewed Designs arched triptych! You can enter your own creation for our CHAPTER 4 TIME challenge at The Altered Alice.

ETA: Edited to add that my triptych was the Featured Project on the Fresh Brewed Designs Challenge Blog!  Thanks Heather!

Please leave me a comment before you go!
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