November 19, 2012

funky greetings

When I saw the Moxie Fab World alphabet stickers challenge a few weeks ago, an idea began to develop, but I was having trouble bringing all of the pieces together. A timely visit to Laurie’s blog on Saturday provided that uniting factor, retrosketches #38:

The card is going to my sister Patti, on the other coast, and I’m so grateful that she can handle a little bit of funkiness. With Brianna having graduated and living back at home, I’ve lost my most adventurous card recipient. I knew that I could send almost any experimental card to Brianna and she would appreciate it. She was just the right combination of a video artist who understood the need for experimentation and a student who was grateful for any mail from home. But, I digress…

The card base, a chevron pattern from Amy Tan’s Sketchbook collection, was layered with a partial sheet of alpha stickers. Acrylic ink was used with a damask stencil over the chevron and stickers layers and to color a white rectangle of cardstock. The die cut and stamped sentiments combined to make just the right greeting to let Patti know that I’ve been thinking of her.

So, do you have a person you can send any card without hesitation?


paper:  white c/s (Staples); Sketchbook collection (Amy Tangerine)
stamps:  Flower Fusion #1 (PTI); Be Amazing (MME)
ink:  tuxedo black dye (Memento)
dies and punches:  block alphabet (PTI)
extras:  tiny alpha stickers (making memories); quinacridone magenta ink (Liquitex); serendipity stencil (momenta)

November 18, 2012

for the boys

I needed some more masculine birthday cards, so I decided to use the Moxie Fab World alphabet stickers challenge to direct the approach of the card’s design.

Using mask paper and alphabet dies to cut out the word “birthday,” I stuck the letters on a collage of paper strips and misted over them. After the paper dried, I found that I preferred the look of the letters that received a heavier misting of color (card with the cupcake) because the word stands out a little bit more. (The photographs aren't true depictions due to my limited skills.)

Since it takes me so long to make one card, I usually make two while all of my supplies are out. (I craft in my dining room.) The picture that follows is the second card in the duo, which is actually the first card made and my test run. I do like the way this misting over patterned paper looks and will probably use this technique again.

There’s still time for you to try your hand at this challenge. Submissions close on the 19th.


paper:  rustic white c/s (PTI); fine and dandy collection (MME)
stamps:  tag-its #10 and 2011 Birthday Tags (PTI); Cupcakes (HA)
ink: rich cocoa dye (Memento); celadon pigment (ColorBox); pumpkin pigment (MS)
dies and punches:  block alphabet, heart border, and star border (PTI)
extras:  mask tape; bluegrass Mister Huey’s color mist (SC); diamond stickles (Ranger); Tiny Type stickers (Cosmo Cricket); vintage cream and melon berry felt (PTI); stick pin

November 17, 2012

love and congratulations, amy and tim

My niece Amy and her husband, Tim, are expecting their first baby together. This was such exciting and hopeful news to receive and I wanted to send love and congratulations to the parents- and grandparents-to-be. To Tom and Mary Ellen, my brother and sister-in-law, I sent the card that I had made for the PTI July blog hop. I love that card (Are you allowed to admit that?) and thought it would be perfect for this occasion. I made a new card for Amy and Tim.

Back in May 2011, Melissa Philips wrote a post on love mail and shared some photo inspiration, including this envelope:

After visiting HensTeeth, I knew that I wanted to try adding some stitched flowers to a card. A year plus later, I’ve actually done so, though in a much different color palette than those I had remembered since the card needed to be gender neutral. The flowers are very sweet and work well with the Summer Fresh papers, but I do want to try this in the girlie colors that Viv uses in her Etsy shop.

For the stitched details, I am entering this into the Moxie Fab World stitching and sewing challenge.


paper:  rustic cream c/s (PTI); Summer Fresh (Simple Stories)
stamps:  Mat Stack 2 Collection (PTI)
ink: onyx black (VersaFine)
dies and punches:  classic hearts (Spellbinders)
extras:  muslin (Jo-Ann Fabric); Nordic Holiday and Oxford glazed brads (Basic Grey); floss 304, 744, 800, 930, 963, and 3052 (DMC)

November 14, 2012

is it a challenge card or a challenging card

When I saw the Tuesday Trigger, I immediately envisioned the perfect card that would make me a Trigger Target. It made use of a Memory Box wreath stamp, gorgeous PTI autumn rose felt, sweet little berries that were a steal last year at Michael’s… but, wait, I had to burst that thought bubble before it got any bigger. I had no time for felt flowers; there were birthday cards to be made – for guys – which brings me back to the title of this post.

I, too, fall into that majority group of card makers, those who are challenged by masculine cards. I tend toward fussier cards with lots of layers and pretty colors, not something my brother-in-law would want to receive for his birthday. That fantasy in fall photo would not leave me be, though, so I decided to try to use it for inspiration for Jon’s card.

Three elements – the colors, the circles of the flowers, and the imbalanced weight – had the most influence on the card’s design. The colors started out as the four felt colors, but the rose shade, even though in a masculine pattern, pushed the card toward a more feminine feel. I ended up switching it to the orange dotted paper, which picked up the orange of the berries. The use of circles is fairly obvious with the layered circles visually capturing the shape and depth of the flowers. Lastly, the majority of the weight of both the wreath and the photo is found in one area. I tried to mimic that with the layered border running down the side of the card.

Generally, I am a very literal person and would have run with a wreath design, no explanations required. It was fun and challenging to push myself in a different direction with this Tuesday Trigger.

The many circles that ended up on this card fall right into Tip Top Shape #4 of Creative Paper Trade’s fourth challenge. Just like Cath, Andrea shares some stunning photographs as inspiration. I would love to see that waterfall in person.

I hope that any challenges you might face this week are no greater than those I experienced making Jon’s card.


paper:  rustic cream c/s (PTI); Island Mist Double Dot pp (Bo Bunny); Dolled Up, Lost & Found Two Sunshine, and Six by Six Vanity Fair collections (MME)
stamps:  tag-its #10 and Birthday Basics (PTI)
ink:  rich cocoa dye (Memento); VersaMark
dies and punches:  simple circles border (PTI); standard circles large (Spellbinders); jumbo circle punch (Marvy Uchida)
extras:  clear embossing powder and gold Stickles (Ranger)