Friday, January 30, 2009

Hapy cards, sad cards

While making my thank you cards, I took a time-out to play with a new stamp I purchased. This is a cute little House Mouse stamp and I am hooked! It was pretty easy and fun to color in and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I was very worried about it getting to my friend in one piece as the pearls and popped-up image made it seem rather bulky. I have been informed though that it arrived in one piece- hooray!

Needed another thank you card and wanted to play with water coloring, and this is what I got. I also tried something a little different- instead of mounting the image on the scallop layer and then popping the whole thing up (like in the card above), I just popped up the main image on the scallop backing. I had seen this done before and thought it looked pretty nice, but to be honest I do not like the way it came out. In general it's not a great card- it's kind of boring really. But, I do thing the bug is kind of cute.

Lastly is a card that was not as much fun to make. A co0worker of mine recently lost his father and I wanted to send him something. I don't own a sympathy sentiment, so I thought about printing one out on my computer. By the time I got my main image done and mounted though, I didn't really think there was room. For the most part I like this card. I wish I could have used a different ribbon, one without any brown, but I didn't have anything better. I do like the image and notice those cute little baby pearls! I was pleased when I realized they would work well this way- I bought a pack of adhesive pearls in three sizes and had no idea what on earth I would do with the smallest size. Solution!

Oh, I used two Spellbinder's embossing mats on the card above and finally got a good, deep emboss on my oval. One just doesn't cut it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Polly says Thank You

Seeing as I own all this stuff to make cards and supposedly make them, seems only natural I should start sending things like thank you cards, right? Well, it took an unnecessarily long time for me to get these done, but I think they turned out great!

I picked up this bird stamp this past weekend and decided it would be perfect. I stamped it in several colors and matted it in either a similar color or complementary color. I decided that I would make a coordinated set. the cards are all similar in that the main image is there and they follow the same basic layout, but I varied all the embellishments. Fun!

And yes, they are Chrismakah thank-you. Theme Schmeme.

The first two and blue and green. I love blue and green together. Perhaps to an unnatural degree. I love the little rhinestones on this first one, but I feel the sentiment is just sort of hangin' out there, totally ungrounded. I think using a corner rounder or something like those label nestabilities would help a lot, but since I don't any of those I think I need to start stamping straight onto the background.

I poked little holes in all the scallops here- first time! Love the way it looks! Stamped sentiment on background- much better!

Pink and orange- glorious!!!!

Orange and grey- so fab.

And here we have my all time favorite color combination- purple and purple. :P

Ok, so it's not so much a color combo in the traditional sense.... But I love purple, have tons of it, and don't really know what else to pair it with. I was particularly excited to use the lace here. I bought it on a whim one day, thinking I would use it on something Valentine-y. It wasn't expensive, but I certainly don't want it sitting around sucking up space- that roll is big! I did have one issue using it though- it was too thick on the back of the scallopy layer at first so it didn't lay on the card base correctly. A little visit from Mr. Scissors and all was right.

Now all I need to do is actually send them.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Stickiness and some cards

First thing first, I got my ATG! Here is a picture comparing it to some of my other adhesives. It's a biggie for sure.
I had read before that there is a learning curve to using this sucker. When I read that, I of course thought, 'what the heck is there to learn, you roll on glue???' Well, turns out, they're not lying. You have to be careful when you finish rolling out adhesive and go to remove it- you have to be sure to pull back firmly and not up. The adhesive sticks to itself better than anything else, so it's natural inclination is to stay attached to the rest of the adhesive that you are currently moving far away from your project, so it is imperative that you effectively break the string of adhesive.

So there you go- learning curve.

In addition to playing with tape, I also made some cards! I received a Cuttlebug recently but had not yet had a chance to test it out. I purchased a few embossing folders and dies also, and was stoked to use them.

Here is a card I made using the swiss dot embossing folder and a cute heart die along with oval nestabilities. I like hearts. A LOT, so I had to dig deep to find some restraint once I purchased this heart die and say 'don't go buy anything else heart related'.
I enjoyed using my nestabilties, although I was pretty much convinced when removing them from their packaging that I was going to bend them. I knew they were thin, but apparently my understanding of the word thin is inadequate. Wafer thin! I need to give them a more reasonable home though right now they live in an old photo sleeve I had.

I got a little carried away with the butterflies on this one. And the texture. I like it anyway though! In addition to really liking hearts I really like butterflies. And unicorns and puppies and kitties and and and....

Ok card:

More hearts! Yay hearts! I purchased a bunch of papers from the American Crafts 'Romance' line a while back, this was the first time I had a chance to use any of it though. I like the line a lot and think I will end up using most of it on cards.

Finally, I was able to work on those thank you cards from the doggie. I decided I wanted to make it a simple single layer card. I don't have any thought bubble stamps, so what I did was trace around one of my scalloped oval nestabilities. It's not perfect, but way better than I would have been able to do free-hand!

I decided to color the stamped image with a sharpie ultra fine point marker instead of my pencils. I must say, I love the results! I may have to get a few more markers. Sharpie: the poor woman's Copic!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Consistent sounds so much better than boring....

A few weeks ago I went to an overnight crop (mentioned in the post below- very nice crop, very scary setting). I enjoyed it and was quite pleased with the layouts I was creating. Then I started to notice a bit of a trend. My two page layouts were looking remarkably similar. Clearly, I have a style.

Style, that's it! Sounds so much better than 'stuck in a rut', 'unimaginative', or 'boring'. I like my consistent style of course, but it's kind of funny. I think most people would describe me as very much NOT a boring person. Hopefully my layouts aren't either!

Here's the first one:

I like this one quite a bit. I struggled a lot to stamp the title- it's something I need to work on. I do not have enough confidence in my ability to stamp things straight the first time, so I always stamp my titles on separate paper. Practice makes perfect.

Darn it- still need to add that date!

I was especially pleased with the way the ribbon looked- it's a reversible ribbon from American Crafts and I think it finished the layout nicely.

Here we have layout 2. No, the butterflies aren't exactly relevant, but I think they're cute.

Hmmmm. From this distance it *does* look quite boring and empty. Funny, in person I thought it looked fine. Perhaps I should look at my stuff while it sits on the floor more often...

And finally, a lovely shot showcases the tips of my slippers. Oh yes, and a very purple layout too! Note to self: fix ribbon!

Now, just to assuage any concerns that I'm becoming the crazy lady who stays home every night scrapbooking pictures of her dog and nothing else, here is a layout I did about myself and the Aquarium.

This also proves that I do in fact get out of the house on occasion. Ignore that this was all the way back in September.

Sorry for the glare- I was too lazy to take stuff out of page protectors.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I am in adhesive purgatory!

Yes, I am in tape purgatory! This is the source of my many woes:

I had been using tombow mono multi happily for quite awhile, but was longing for a tape runner again. I had heard many good things about the dot 'n roller and decided to take the plunge. I ordered one snazzy little dispenser and 6 refills. I tested it out and was immediately in love! Adhesive love. Heh. STP anyone? Anyone?

I digress. Back to my agony. I tried it, loved it, and happily toted my new dispenser and 2 refills to an overnight crop with me. All was going well- I was cruising along and had done several layouts I was quite pleased with when it came time to pop in a refill. Then my happiness quickly dissipated as the unthinkable happened- my refill didn't work properly! Crap! Basically the uptake roll which collects the empty plastic strip is not rolling back, so the tape strip stays stuck to the paper leaving a great big mess and the need to take the thing apart and manually roll the strip back in. I end up with not enough adhesive on my project for it to stick, but enough left on the plastic strip to get all over my hands, pants, desk, really anything nearby.

Thankfully, I was smart and brought another refill with me. Problem was, that one didn't work either. Now I was in deep sh!t. It was very late at night and I was at an overnight crop in some remote camp ala Jason movies. CRAP! Luckily, I'm super prepared and actually brought about a billion adhesives with me, so I was not without stickiness.

Ok, fast forward, I go home and try out my other 4 refills, and they are sucked! Ack! I had purchased these online so I was a little worried about exchanging them, but the folks over at were oh-so-nice and sent me 6 brand spankin' new refills cartridges! Hooray! 5 of my bad refills were from the same lot, and the 6th was from the next sequential lot.

Ok, so I sat down the other day to make some thank you cards, like a good little gift recipient when what should I discover? Why my replacement refills also suck!

Now I have invested probably a few hours of my life attempting to understand what my refills are doing when they are not working properly and have to figure it out. A few hours is a lot of time to spend considering adhesive. So finally, I have given up and succumbed to societal pressure and ordered, you guessed it, and ATG-714. The Cadillac of adhesives. It came with 3 rolls of 908 acid free Gold tape and I purchased another 3 rolls for a grand total of 216 yards of 1/4" sticky goodness.

Because I have been moderately obsessed with my little adhesive dilemma, I decided while I was trying *one more time* to correct my adhesive misbehavior I would take pictures. Because that's what scrapbookers do: we take pictures of things that really don't deserve to have their picture taken. Enjoy.

Starting to roll. Not too bad. A little slack isn't so bad....

Hmmm, maybe it's more than I realized...

It does not appear to be getting better...

So you see how this can become problematic:

Yeah, no good. Probably funny for the people who saw me ripping up huge strips of the stuff and doing battle with clear sticky tape and midnight.

On to a more positive note! Here are the cute little images I plan on using the yet to be constructed thank you notes:

There are actually going to be thank yous from the dog to the family members who purchased her goodies. We're a polite family. When I was visiting my parents my mom cleaned out her arts supply stash and found an unused box of Derwent watercolor pencils. Yeah, completely unused! Full set too- 72! So now I have watercolor pencils. This was my first foray into watercoloring since probably elementary school. I'm pleased with the results and look forward to practising more. Here's a close-up.

The stamp is from Amuse, also a Chrismakah present, but for me. Madison would only chew on stamps if they were given to her.