Monday, November 28, 2011

Inspirational "Easel"

For the Sketch For You to Try (SFYTT) challenge for November, I made a little fold out easel with changeable inspirational sentiments instead of a card.
It still measures a little smaller than a normal card.
I stamped (8) of my favorite sentiments/quotes from Verve's Blue Skies set (my favorite of theirs) and Words of Wisdom set (quickly becoming one of my faves) on the Notebook Paper and Graph Paper Plain Jane stamps (also from Verve).  Cut them out using the Rounded Rectangle Die by Verve.
I created the base of the project like you would a normal card, but the black cardstock is folded to create a triangle shape, and scored in the middle of the bottom part so that it can be folded flat (say, to put in an envelope??).
I attached a nifty Hinge Clip by Tim Holtz with a matching brad through the back part of the clip to the top of the base, and positioned my banner piece in blue, cut with a Die-namics by MFT, such that the ends only are attached with brads and there is a little extra room under it.  The stack of sentiments clip under the hinge clip and gently slide under the banner.  Very simple, and easy to change out to show the inspiration that the recipient needs for any particular day.

Here are close-ups of the sentiments, the easel laying on it's side so you can see how it's folded a little better, and two shots of different sentiments under the clip.

A 65% to 35% Card with My Son

This is a rather specific, interesting little card that my 6-year-old son wanted to make. He sees a counselor at school weekly, who he loves. One of the main things she does with him, in teaching him social skills and self-control, is to play games. So when he said he wanted to make her a card, we focused on the theme of game playing. I had stamped a few images from Stampin' Up's Take a Spin set that my friend owns for future use. We pulled one out and used a little arrow brad I had (I don't have any of the SU spinners yet...they're on my next order). My son also selected the main paper. He thought the letters and squares resembled a game board. I can kind of see that. LOL. I helped him pick the coordinating paper, and suggested the banner. We cut and adhered together. And he stamped the sentiment inside, from Verve Stamps, "You are Amazing," which again, he decided on. So I'd say this is about 65% him-35% me. We had fun on one of our Thanksgiving week days off together, and hopefully his counselor will love it.

The Other VLV Sketches for November

For the Viva la Verve! November week 4 sketch challenge on Splitcoaststampers:  
This one was a challenge. So many different layers and shapes. Hope I ended up with a pleasing birthday card for my sweet friend. 
I used Verve's Capre Cupcake set, and mostly Cosmo Cricket Odds & Ends papers (with a touch of October Afternoon).
Of note are the use of PTI's fabric swatch die and a tip from Raisin Boat to sprinkle glitter into my Liquid Applique before heat puffy, sparkly icing for my cupcake!
Created a half medallion for the top, with an old Marcella metal accent as the center.
Rhinestones from Pizzazz Aplenty. So many details.

For the Viva la Verve! November week 3 sketch challenge on Splitcoaststampers:

I used a sentiment from Verve's new holiday stamp release, Bright Sprits, and the coordinating Love Birds dies. 
Papers are BoBunny's Midnight Frost collection (from last year).
I hope I captured the look of the bird bringing the star ornament to add to the sentiment.
The star is colored with Copics, detailed with a gold Sakura glitter pen, and covered all over with clear Sakura glitter pen. Some tiny clear rhinestones adorn the swirls in the sentiment's text.

Using the Viva la Verve! November week 2 sketch challenge on Splitcoaststampers: 
 I unfortunately needed a sympathy card to send to my family. My 21-year-old stepbrother passed away unexpectedly. I didn't know him very well, but his death has left a huge hole in my stepfather, whom I care for very much.
To ease the sadness of cardmaking a bit, I was lucky enough to have this beautiful set of sentiments from MFT (Clearly Sentimental About Sympathy). I paired the sentiment on the front, and one inside "May your heart and soul find peace and comfort" with these elegant but warm homey papers, Generations, by Simple Stories.
I used Verve's Vintage Oval Die twice (and traced around the plastic alignment tool that comes with it twice for the mats), once for the sentiment in the front, and once cut lengthwise, turned and tucked under each side to create the bracketed shape.
I used a Martha Stewart border punch and accordion folded to make the medallion, and added some brown seam binding and Bisque Liquid Pearls.
I hope the card brings a little bit of comfort to my family, or at least lets them know that we are thinking of them and share in their loss.
And I'm grateful that better card designers than I, like the Divas with Verve Stamps, offer beautiful sketches so that I don't have to spend so much energy trying to come up with an idea when I need a card.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Catch up post: Lots of cards, a couple layouts and some Halloween creations

Lots of catching up to do.  I have been hard pressed to find time to post to my blog, seeing as how no one really frequents it anyway.  But I do aspire to one day be on a design team and maintain a well-visited blog, so here I am.
Although the dates will be a little out of order, I'll put the couple other Halloween things towards the bottom with my last posts, and then work backwards so the newest is at the top.  And if you are here for a visit, thanks so much for stopping by and taking a few minutes to peek through my latest creations.

For the Viva la Verve! November week 1 sketch challenge
It's a little early for me to normally start on Christmas cards, but the circular shapes in this sketcher were just calling from some 3D round shapes, so ornaments it was!I used Verve's Holly Jolly set, paired with a sentiment from the Holiday Phrases set (and these are both on sale this month!!).
Stamped each ornament 5 times, cut out, folded in half and adhered half to half, back to back, to make the 3-Dimensional shapes.  I stamped and embossed the ornament tops/hooks in silver.  And even that little holly on the larger ornament hook is in the Holly Jolly set.
Papers are Echo Park's Season's Greeting.  The sentiment is cut out with dies from PTI.  Some seam binding and glaze pen finish it off.

For the Viva la Verve! October week 5 sketch challenge:
I used MFT's Sew Nifty stamps and Die-namics set.  Papers are Cosmo Cricket Odds and Ends printed from the digital file by and SU's Riding Hood red cardstock.
On the inside, I strung the tiny thimble, ruler, and scissors dies cut out of aluminum foil on the same blue twine as is wrapped around the larger spool on the front.
And the inside.  A sentiment will go here, too...but the girl I made this for (who intends to give it to her grandmother) gets to choose what she wants it to say.  I'm partial to "Love is the thread that binds us"

Surprise...a layout!  
My local scrapbooking group offered up a "recipe" challenge.  You randomly pick amongst several options (ours was Halloween themed) and then those items are revealed to correspond to various scrapbooking elements you had to use on your page.  My recipe consisted of 1 photo, black cardstock, rubons, bling, stamping and inking.I just love this picture of my son on his first day of playing soccer.  However, being an action shot, it was a bit blurry.  I tried converting it to black and white first, but not quite what I wanted.  So then I used the "Posterize" feature within Photoshop Elements.  It resulted in this cool, slightly sketchified (??word??) look like an old time newspaper.
I used old rubons:Heidi Swapp Rummage for the title, and some Basic Grey Wholly Cow All Boy rubons for the definition and the soccer ball and circle in the bottom corner.
Stamped a place for the date in the bottom corner using an old SU stamp, and embossed in white.  Inked a mat to give a double mat look using Weathered Wood distress ink.  And added some tiny bling to the spots between the four words in the Basic Grey swirl rub on at the bottom.
I was inspired by the motivational posters you see everywhere, and thought this simple graphic design would really show off my very cool son.  ;)

For the Viva la Verve! October week 4 sketch challenge
I bought this Verve Bountiful Harvest set after Thanksgiving last year, so this was my first time inking it up.  This little turkey just kills cute!  I colored him with Copics and added a tiny bit of Sakura clear glaze pen to the buckle on the hat.I used MME's Mischievous paper line, some frosted flatback pearls from Pizzazz Aplenty and seam binding.

For the Viva la Verve! October week 3 sketch challenge
I actually combined an MFT image with a Verve sentiment for this one.  The circular shape of the Sunflower Who's That Girl worked perfectly for the larger circle in the sketch.  And while I like the sentiments that come with that set, I was in need of a thank you card.  Verve's Bloom & Grow set offered up the great Thanks a Bunch sentiment.I used papers from the new MME Lost and Found Two Sunshine 6x6 pad.
I cut two papers with the MFT Rolled Sunflower Die-namics, and carefully wrapped and layered them around the edge of my sentiment circle.  Added some pen detail to mimic the circle around my image panel.
The border is cut with the Fiskars Upper Crest punch.  Some stitching, Copics, and flat backed pearls for the center of the sunflower finish it off.

Sneaking a layout in on you.  I only finished this one layout and the following card at an ALL DAY crop (sad, I know).  But I really like it.  Hubby captured some great photos of our 6 year old (almost 7) after losing his first tooth.  He was rather disappointed that he hadn't lost any, and I think we were starting to worry a tiny bit, when he lost this one, and the second followed two days later!  
I used a shaped pp from the MME Stella and Rose collection, and cute tree and bird chipboard shapes by Maya Road.  The trunk of the tree is covered in cork.

For the Viva la Verve! October week 2 sketch challenge
I used a sentiment from Verve's Small Phrases set, on a banner cut from MFT's First Place Award Die-namics.  The heart is cut by Verve's Jotted Heart die.  Papers are MME's Lost and Found Two Rosy collection.  A little hand stitching and pen detail, some seam binding, and a rolled rose from MFT's smallest rolled rose dies.

For the Viva la Verve! September week 4 sketch challenge
I used a sentiment from Verve's Words of Wisdom set (isn't this the coolest font combination?) on a Sweet Scallop Tag stamped, die cut, and popped.  Papers are October Afternoon, and I cut the banners with the Taylored Expressions Pennant Border.  Some shabby wrinkled seam binding, black twine, and rhinestones.

I used the new Verve Boo To You set and Echo Park's The Apothecary Emporium papers.  I cut the ghosts out with a Spellbinders Labels Two Nestability, masked the ghosts, and inked with Weathered Wood distress ink. The "Boo" portion of one of the sentiments and the little pole were cut out with MFT's Mini Pennant Die-namics.  SU scalloped border along the bottom with some tiny black rhinestones.

This haunted house was just too much fun to make.  Made from SVGCuts' Elmhurst Manor cutting file, my Cricut and SCAL software.  Nothing special to include, other than I Stickled the bats.  Three battery operated tea lights fit inside.  We placed it outside while handing out candy to trick or treaters this year.

My son's class had a pumpkin decorating contest.  We couldn't cut or carve our pumpkin, so we painted one of the tiny ones with black acrylic paint and decorated him/her? with a witch's hat and shoes on pipe cleaners for legs.  So fun.  Used the Easy Rosette die from TCP and some K&Co papers.  I just cut circles and crafted the cone shape for the hat by hand.  I found a free SVG file online and cut the little shoes with my Cricut and SCAL software.
 And here's a little close-up of the hat.