Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Four cards - 1 design layout

What happens when you take one simple card design idea and make it four different ways? This!

A 4-1/4" X 4-1/4" square layered on an A2 card. One has a ribbon/border accent. One has a die-cut shape out of the middle. One has an image popped up over a washi decorated border piece and one has a stamp collage on graph cardstock.

It's a great reminder that you can have variety even in simple designs and sometimes it's just good to go back to basics with simple stamping.


More on these cards coming soon! Have a wonderfully creative day!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

We Just Fit - Layered Border Tutorial

Hello! Remember me? My poor neglected blog. Hope you're sticking with me.
 Here's a fun masculine birthday card with a custom border piece that could be made with so many different cardstocks and papers. It would look great on scrapbook pages too!
First, let's take a look at the stamp. This super cute puzzle piece is from My Punny Valentine which is available through February 14th. Although it's wonderful for Valentine'so day, it's also perfect for birthdays, anniversaries and for autism causes. Yep. A puzzle piece is the symbol for autism and I think it is awesome that we have a stamp for it! Close-up, you can see that the puzzle piece is popped up on the classic stitched die tag and has a bit of the border piece too.

The background of the card has the puzzle piece stamped all over and little dots of gold from the signo gold gel pen added. It's subtle but a fun little touch.
So. How do you make the border? First you start with three card stock strips. I used onyx, onyx petite polka dot and gold shimmer. I glued the gold to the polka dot to start.
First you layer the gold/polka strip at an angle over the onyx strip and trim the right side.
Then you take where you trimmed and line it up on the left side of the onyx strip and trim again on the right. This gives you the same angle on each piece that you cut.
You do it a third time and trim. If you do too big of an angle, you kind of overlap the bottom of the strip or you may only get two overlaps. But, that's no problem. It still gives you a cool border look.
Here's what the finished border looks like beside the one in process.
And, there's a close-up. Isn't that fun? I can't wait to make it with our patterned paper packs and with other cardstocks.
Since the outside has so much going on, I kept the inside simple.

If you want to pick up this stamp before it goes away on February 14th, shop my webstore.

Have a wonderfully creative day!!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Love Bug - Heat Embossed Vellum Bow

Here's a throwback to those wonderful old fashioned Valentine's that had doilies on them.
The heart doily pack in the January collection is a great addition to this card. I cut the doilies in half so they'd go further and make more Valentine's to share. The berry, grapefruit plain and petite polka dot and blush cardstock work so well together. Severeal of the cardstocks are in the Hem and Hadley collection which is also available through February 14th.

 It's cheery and sweet and if you leave the sentiment off, could be sent to anyone on your list of people you love - from Grandma to granddaughter to a good friend.
A little Valentine Collection Washi adds a super easy bit of interest to your card. It's a rice paper tape so you can just tear it and put it on the card. A little bit goes a long way and is so cute!
Here's a close-up of the heat embossed vellum bow. A Hundred Wishes stamp set was used to make the lacy look. Isn't that dandelion perfect for a lacy effect? I love how this turned out. And, heat embossing with white embossing powder on vellum paper is AWESOME! The vellum paper is also the easiest to use on the mini bow. I just love it! Isn't it pretty?! And, I think it looks even better under the popped up love bug cut out from Punny Valentine. Isn't that sweet?
Here's the inside. Another simple finish to the decorated outside.A sweet and simple finish.

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Have a wonderfully creative day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

You're the Bomb!

What could be better than a Punny Valentine? This new stamp set (only available through February 14th) is a great stamp set not only for Valentine's day but for birthdays and anniversaries and congratulations and general pick-me-up cards too!
The red lines around each stamp show the die size. As you can see, it's a good close fit and helps you get a great element for a card. You can pick this up in my webstore: www.amusestudio.com/seleise through February 14th!

Here's my "bomb" card.
It features the bomb on the stitched fishtail die that was splashed across rather than sprayed directly on. Here's what I mean by splashed across. Lay the tag on the bottom of your spray box and then spray straight across at the back wall of your spray box and let the splash fall onto your tag rather than spraying straight at your tag. It gives just a touch of spray to your tag and I liked this version on the vellum cardstock tag. The die comes with the matching circle that goes around the hole that you punch out. Isn't that cute?! 

The bomb was popped up on the tag and the mini banner with the mini heart cut-out  was added to the side of the tag. Mono aqua is perfect for this step as it dries clear. I love the peek-a-boo heart cut out of it from the heart die trio and the heart along with some sweetheart sequins finishes off the look. I put the embellishments on with Tombow Mono Multi as that also dries clear and is great for paper as well as embellishments. 

Blush cording went through the crop-a-dile punched hole and the circle popped around the opening. The sentiment was added and the card was spritzed across the top with the Stardust finishing spray. It's a great way to add a little shimmer to your cards and scrapbook pages. I did the same as before and spritzed above the card, shooting at the back of the spray box and let the spray fall onto the card.
Here's a close-up of that wonderful stitched tag die and the perfectly cut-out bomb. Isn't that fun?! To learn how to get a perfect cut every time from your matching stamps and dies, check out this blog post.
Since the outside had many layers and steps, I kept the inside simple and sweet. This A1 card is sure to brighten someone's day. :)

Have a wonderfully creative day!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Watercolor! Sunset Expressions

I have been way busier this January than I originally thought I would be so my blog got pushed to the back burner. But, I've got cards to post and so am going to jump back into my blog in a big way with tons of pics in this post!

In December, there was a sympathy card swap with some fellow consultants. I make a lot of sympathy cards but was looking for a new way to approach them. It was bitterly cold outside so what better thing to do than sit with a warm cup of tea or coffee and get some stamping on, right?

The inspiration for the card happened as I drove home from work. There in front of me was the most amazing sunset. The sky would light up with colors and shades of oranges and golds and purples and pinks. Amazing! Don't believe me - here you go:
I searched through my camera and found a few other sunsets for inspiration.

 I posted about it on facebook and a couple of friends sent me their favorite sunset pics:

Aren't they amazing?! So glad they shared!

So, that was it. The cards had to have awesome sunsets with something stamped in silhouette. What could be better than that? I looked at my different coloring mediums and there in the front were my Peerless Watercolors. Perfect!

I took a rectangle piece of Bristol cardstock (our watercolor paper) and spritzed it with some water, picked up some color with my waterbrush and went to town adding colors. The sky was the limit (no pun intended - lol!) as the colors of a sunset in Kansas can be any color. Layers of colors- dabs of this  and that were added in. If the paper started to pill up, more water was added and back to blending and adding of colors. Here's the batch of swap cards:

As you can see I played around with colors, dark/light, blending/not blending, etc. But, I love all the variations. This had to be a class card but the design would have to be modified a bit:
I left the inside simple. And, if the class peeps chose, they could leave the sentiment off because this is also just a perfect notecard to have on hand. 
I watercolored first, dried it and even ironed it and then stamped the Sunny Side of Life image with Versafine Black ink. Versafine is a great ink to use when you have a lot of detail on your stamp. It's an oil-based pigment ink and dries fairly quickly. It's acid-free, archival, non-toxic and fade resistant.

So, this card turned out to be a favorite of many at class. It was fantastic to see all the variations of sunsets so I want to share - here you go:

Aren't they great! I just love the different variations and different layers of color and the joy shown in all of them! It was fun because many didn't care for the backgrounds until they stamped their image and then it was a wow moment!

I was asked if you could stamp first and then watercolor. I wasn't sure outside of embossing the image first, if this could be done. So off to the A Muse message boards to ask and got responses right away - so great to have helpful peeps! The answer was yes. If you stamp with an archival ink such as Versafine or Ranger, you can stamp first, let the ink dry and then watercolor. Other inks may start to bleed when wet and trust me, you want the color to move so you want the paper to be wet.

These cards are so easy and fun to make. I'll be back with more watercolor posts soon. I do want to tell you that the Peerless Watercolors are just great. You can make a carrier to make them easily portable. The color lasts a really long time. I've taught several watercolor cards in class and have also done a bit of watercoloring myself (ok - more than a bit) and I'm just now starting to replace my first sheets. I cut mine into fourths to use and those are the sheets I'm talking about so I still have three more to use before I need to buy a new set. After this class, I'll probably have to replace a few more but it will be totally worth it.  Here's a post that will tell you more about them and show you how I have mine mounted: http://amethystcat.blogspot.com/2014/10/simple-swirls-watercolor.html

Visit my webstore to pick up some bristol paper, a waterbrush and your Peerless Watercolors: www.amusestudio.com/seleise

I hope you've enjoyed this post of watercolor and sunset love. Have a wonderfully creative day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Make a Wish - Kiss Technique

A sweet birthday card made with A Muse Studio Birthday Balloons and Mod Backgrounds 1 is the card for today. The sweet heart balloon is "embellished" with a simple "kiss!"
Here's a close-up of the balloon. The kissing technique is simple. You need a solid stamp (the heart balloon) and a patterned stamp (Mod Backgrounds 1). You ink up the solid stamp and press the un-inked patterned stamp into the ink. This is called "kissing" and when  you pull the stamps apart, you stamp the inked stamp where you want it on your card and you'll be left with this wonderful patterned look. It's simple and fun. If you're doing multiples, don't forget to re-ink your solid stamp and clean off your patterned stamp in-between "kisses" as you want a clean surfaces each time.

The extra dots and stars are in the birthday balloons set and a white gel pen adds a little extra touch. The eucalyptus ribbon finishes off the balloon and perhaps helps hide the imperfection if your stamped balloon ribbon and balloon don't line up exactly. I don't know who this would apply to...surely not me (hahahahaha!!!). *wink*
A side grouping of stars finishes off the card.

Pick up Birthday Balloons and Mod Backgrounds 1 in my webstore: www.amusestudio.com/seleise

Have a wonderfully creative day!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

You're My Inspiration - Splash/Shimmer Background

Hello! I hope you had a most wonderful holiday and are making preparations for a wonderful New Year! I had a relaxing time with my mom. We played games and put together a puzzle and did a little shopping too. Christmas celebrations came in spits and spurts due to busy schedules and it worked out wonderfully! Now it's time to start getting organized as the craft fair season and a busy fall calendar has left my space in shambles. Maybe I can be a little more organized in 2015 (hahaha - I crack myself up!).

Before I gather with some friends to bring in the new year, it's time to do some thank you's for the wonderful presents received as well as wonderful people in my life! Here's one idea to start the ball rolling.
What happens when you mix berry and marshmallow splash, Peerless shimmer metallics in Copper and water?!! An AWESOME background! I was going to use silver because that makes more sense with pink, right? But, I picked up copper instead and it mixed beautifully into the berry so encourage you to try that combo! Don't wait too long to pick up your Peerless shimmer metallics as they go away when the holiday catalog expires tomorrow night (December 31, 2014) at midnight.
Look at it close up! Could it be more wonderful? And, the Dance silhouettes look fantastic on the shimmery mottly background, don't you agree? Some twinkle stickers finish off the look.
Here's the inside - simple and sweet and lovely.

Shop here to get the peerless and splash: www.amusestudio.com/seleise

Have a wonderfully creative day!