In the Sweetness of Friendship

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hi Friends! I won't keep you but a sec, with the card I want to share with you today.

I used the MFT Wednesday Stamp Club Sketch #91, the Colour Q #156 color palette, and Flourishes Timeless Tuesday theme of "Fall."

I went with lighter shades of the colors to give the card a softer feel. 

I cut the leaves from felt. I used MFT felt for the rose colored leaf, and "Eco felt" from Joann for the tan leaf. The difference in the felt is amazing. Not only does the MFT felt look and feel better, it also cuts better. I can see that I'm going to have to invest in more MFT felt!!!

The inside is pretty simple, with two leaves stamped on white cs, with a strip of dp from the front of the card stitched across the top of it. I punched the top with the binding edge punch to match the front, too.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great night!

I'd like to enter this card in the following challenges:


Stamps: Sweetness of Friendship, Falling Leaves (Flourishes)
Paper: Tim Coffey Fall Mat Pad (K&Co); Indie Chic "Saffron" (My Mind's Eye)
Ink: Memento; Distress Ink; White Gel Pen
Dies: Reverse Wonky Rectangles, Assorted Leaves, Curved Rectangles, Parisian Motif (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Binding Edge Punch (EK Success); felt (MFT Stamps & Joann); burlap; Cotton Perle thread (DMC); buttons; sewing thread
Size: A2 (4.25" x 5.5")
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TMS #165: Trust Your Crazy Ideas

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hello Friends! I am so excited to share the project I made for today's Tuesday Morning Sketch Challenge! As with the mini album I made a couple of weeks ago, I took a simple idea and went crazy with it.

My DT buddy, Theresa, came up with this fab sketch--an oval, two ribbon banners, and four stars, or other embellies. It's a well-balanced design, that, just as it is, would result in a fantastic card. I love that the oval is large enough to be able to accommodate just about any image you'd want to use, too.

That said, however, I don't seem to be able to stick with the plan these days! :)
See what I mean! I altered an inexpensive composition notebook, and all the basic elements are there...but so are LOTS of others!!! Of course, I have a great excuse--I just had to use some of the new goodies I picked up at the stamp convention. ;) Don't you just love that sentiment? Seemed perfect for an art journal.

The dragonfly stamp is from a Stampers Anonymous set called, Classics #1. Beautiful. But, as nice as that is, what I really want to show you is the background. I picked up some Dylusions Ink Sprays, and they are amazing. The colors are SO vivid! It's going to take some practice to get good at combining different colors, but I was pretty pleased with how this one turned out (after 3 previous tries went into the trash). :) Oh, and see that white diamond pattern on the left side? I used a stencil and sponged white ink there. As with most everything I do, I had no idea what it would look like when I did it, but I love the depth it added--it almost looks like a reflection on glass. I just love all the fun surprises I get when I'm crafting!

The "Faith" label, is new, too. It's from a Spellbinders die set called, Girlie Grunge Labels by Donna Salazar. I got lucky--it was in a sale bin for just $10! I've used several of the labels on this project. I cut and embossed them on white cs, and inked the letters while still in the die. I then used a different Distress Ink to color the bg of each one. After gluing the labels to the project, I added Glossy Accents to give them some dimension.

The dragonfly die cut is one I already had, but had never used. I inked it while in the die, but wasn't pleased at all with how it looked, so I spritzed it with Perfect Pearls Mist, and that fixed it right up. It's hard to tell here, but the dragonfly is raised in the center with a foam dot, and the wings are curved up slightly.

I think I'm hooked on stencils! The texts here are all from the same stencil, called Funky Words. I stenciled them, then doodled on them a little bit, with Stickles, a while gel pen, and Sharpie markers. You can also see more of the Girlie Grunge Labels, as well as a couple of the buttons I added. I used waxed linen thread in the buttons, and after attaching them to the front of the project, I separated the strands of the tails to give them a softer look.

I bought several MFT Die-namic Rolled Flower dies awhile back, and now I have some of their felt, too, thanks to Melissa, who visited their brick and mortar store and picked up a few colors for me. 8~D OMGosh, MFT felt cuts beautifully! I had been using some felt from Joann that doesn't have any wool in it, and it was almost impossible to get it to cut cleanly. The two blue flowers were cut out of Joann felt, the other two are from MFT felt. The edges of the MFT felt are noticeably crisp, while the Joann felt is fuzzy on the edges. I definitely need more MFT felt!

In this photo, you can also see a little bit of the spine of the book. Notice the crisp edge--no fraying? From my bookbinding days, I learned to use Heat n Bond on my fabric before applying glue. The Heat n Bond helps prevent fraying and also keeps the glue from seeping through the fabric.

I covered the back of the notebook, too. The paper is so pretty, I decided to let it do most of the work, and just added the one sentiment stamp--another convention find!

Here's one more look at the front, at an angle, so you can see all the dimension.

Now, it's your turn! Head on over to the Tuesday Morning Sketch Challenge, see what the rest of the DT has to inspire you, then get creative! The prize this week comes from our awesome sponsor, There She Goes Stamps, which has everything from elegant to playful--both stamps and dies! Wouldn't it be great if you won? Well, you can't if you don't play, so get busy!!!

Thanks for stopping by today, and have a wonderful, crafty week!

I'd like to enter this project in the following challenges:
Creative Craft Challenges 2: Anything Goes
Fab & Funky Challenge #139: Things With Wings
Digi Doodle Shop Final Challenge #125: Anything Goes
Do You Stack Up #90: Flags
Fat Pages & Cards With Attitude #23: Anything Goes
Simply Create Too #22: Anything Goes
Stampin' For the Weekend #18: Feeling Floral
Whimsy Inspirations Challenge #51: Anything Goes
MilkCoffee Challenge: At Least 2 Different Shapes
Crafting For All Seasons Challenge #36: Things With Wings
Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge: For the Love of Sparkle

Stamps: Classics #1, Admit One (Stampers Anonymous); The Right Words (Dylusions)
Paper: Abrianna (K&Co)
Ink: Distress Ink; Memento; Colorbox; white gel pen; Sharpie markers; Dylusions Ink Spray
Dies: Labels Three, Floral Ovals, Marvelous Squares, Girlie Grunge Labels: Donna Salazar, Flying Beauties (Spellbinders); Circle Border (Memory Box); Rolled Daisy, Rolled Mum, Mini Royal Roses, Royal Leaves, Loopy Blooms (My Favorite Things Die-namics Dies)
Accessories: Mini Harlequin stencil (TCW); Funky Words stencil (Wendy Vecchi-Studio 490); Fabric; Heat n Bond; felt (MFT Stamps & Joann); sanding block; Mod Podge; waxed linen thread; Mini Round Gems (Recollections); buttons; foam dots; Glossy Accents; Stickles; Pearl Pen; Perfect Pearls Mist; composition book; Scor-Tape
Size: 7.5" x 9.75" 
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Be Like a Flower

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hi Friends! Just a quick post for a tiny project today...a bookmark.

You might recognize the cute image on this's the same one that I used in my last post, here. It's perfect for my bookworm DD, as she and our dog are best friends. :) And, I really want to improve my coloring on these type of images, so I've colored this one several times. I finally got one that is pretty good, although I need some serious practice time on hair. :)

I colored the image with Copic markers and used a new cloud mask and Memento ink that I picked up at the Greenville convention to make the clouds. The sentiment was heat embossed with white ep.

And, that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check back on Tuesday for the newest Tuesday Morning Sketch Challenge. I'll have a fun project to share with you, made with some of the new goodies I snagged at the convention!!!

I'd like to enter this in the following challenges:

Stamps: Olivia (Guylou's Inimitability Digistamps); Summer Afternoon (Taylored Expressions)
Paper: Garden Party Digital Paper (Design House Digital); kraft cs
Ink: Memento; Copic markers; Distress Ink; Colorbox
Dies: Mark Your Spot Bookmark (Taylored Expressions); Big Scalloped Ovals Sm (Spellbinders)
Accessories: Cloud Stencil (Inky Antics); white embossing powder; ribbon
Size: 1.75" x 6" (I trimmed about 1/4" off the bottom of the die cut)

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TMS #164: Happy Day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hi Friends! Yes, Tuesday is always a Happy Day, because it's time for a new Tuesday Morning Sketch Challenge!

Guylou's Inimitability Digistamps is our sponsor this week, and Melissa's sketch is a fairly simple one, so you can dress it up or down, whatever suits your fancy this week! :)
For a change, I followed the sketch almost exactly. I just added a little tag and a couple of buttons.

I did dress the inside up a bit, though. I picked up a new tool at the Greenville stamp convention this past weekend and I just had to try it out--Embossing Diffusers. You use them with your embossing folders to keep an area unembossed so you can stamp on it, or you can even double emboss! Now, I'm all about improvising and making my own tools whenever I can, and I have made these before out of chipboard, but they never really worked, so I was a little bit skeptical, but these things are fantastic. Just look at that nice, clean oval in the center of the cs!

And, speaking of the convention, I had a blast! Look at all the new toys I got...

And, my Savannah friends were so much fun!

I don't think I have laughed so much in years. And, when it was all over, they even invited me to join their stamp club! Looks like I'll be taking a road trip to Savannah in the near future. ;)

I hope you'll join us this week for Tuesday Morning Sketch Challenge #164, and be sure to visit the other DT members' blogs, including our fantastic guest designer Iwona!

I'd like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Fat Pages & Cards With Attitude Challenge 22: Anything Goes/Buttons and Bows
Catch the Bug Challenge: September Bingo (Tearing, Stitching, Button)
Craft Your Passion #128: Bingo (Emboss, Ribbon, Buttons)

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful week!

Stamps: Olivia (Guylou's Inimitabilities Digistamps); Tiny Flowers & Tags, Botanical Bookplates Vol 1 (Flourishes); Big Birthday Wishes (Our Craft Lounge)
Paper: Clippings (Basic Grey)
Ink: Copic markers; Memento; Distress Ink
Dies: Classic Scalloped Ovals Lg, Classic Ovals Lg (Spellbinders); Classic Keyhole (Flourishes Tailor-Made Die by Spellbinders); Buttoned Up (Papertrey Ink)
Accessories: Bricked Embossing Folder, Embossing Diffuser (Sizzix); ribbon; Cotton Perle thread (DMC); buttons; sewing thread; foam dots
Size: A2 (4.25" x 5.5")
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The Art of Marriage: 10 Years

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hi Friends! How's your week going? Mine has flown by because I have been so busy making the project I want to share with you today. My dearest friend is celebrating her 10th anniversary next week, and she asked me to make an accordion fold card to give to her DH to commemorate the occasion. (I also made a card for her 9th anniversary, and blogged about it here.) Well, I never do anything simply that can be complicated, and that accordion fold card quickly turned into a mini-album! Whew! I've never made a mini-album before, so I had no idea what I was in for, but now that it's done, I am so glad I did it. It's a beauty, and truly unique. So...grab yourself a cup of something delicious and settle in for an extended post--LOTS of photos! I think you'll enjoy it.

This is the album all tied up. I dyed seam binding with Distress Ink reinkers and glued it behind the burlap. It wraps around the back to tie on the right side. I was going for a more masculine look, since my friend is giving this to her DH, hence the burlap, rough twine, and lack of flowers.
I couldn't resist adding a couple of pins, though, since I just learned to make them. ;) Here's the tutorial I used, if you're interested in making some for yourself. It's fun, and soooo easy! Thanks, Anita!!!

There are 12 panels in this album. When I started this project, I planned to keep everything flat so it would lay flat when closed, but CAS is not my strong suit, so this baby turned out to be a bit on the chunky side! :)

When the album is opened, this is side one. We decided to print all the photos in sepia tones to give the album an aged look. See those numbers on the pages? Well, each panel represents a year of my friend's marriage. She chose photos from each year and gave me a few details about things that happened during each year so I could decorate accordingly. Everything that is on each panel represents something in that year of my friend's marriage, but to respect her privacy, I won't necessarily reveal what all her details are. ;) I will, however, show you each panel individually, so you can see everything close up.

The first two panels are of the wedding and Year 1 combined. I was glad she had used Calla Lilies in her wedding since I had this gorgeous Flourishes stamp. I colored the lilies with Copics, and made the ribbon purple to match the color of her bridesmaids dresses, then heavily distressed the edges by tearing them, running them through my Distrezz-It-All, inking with reinkers, then wetting the edges with water. Once all that was dry, I inked the edges one last time with Walnut Stain Distress Ink. I love distressing!

Each panel features one word that represents a characteristic that my friend felt was important during that particular year. I printed those words on a transparency to make rub-ons, using a font called Lover's Quarrel.

The next panel is for Year 1--part 2. The numbers were die cut with purple cs to match the covers of the album. I inked each one with embossing ink and used UTEE and my heat gun to give them some dimension. Some of the numbers didn't turn out as well as I'd have liked. I think it's time to invest in a melting pot for my UTEE. That would have worked so much better! (Ha! I just noticed that one of the photos on this page is of The Melting Pot restaurant. What a coincidence!)

For Year 2, I colored another Flourishes image and added a string of pearl beads. After coloring the image, I turned it over and used a stylus to emboss several of the individual roses, so it has a lot of texture.

I'd been wanting to try the faux leather technique using masking tape, and Year 3 provided me with that chance. I couldn't get it as dark as I'd have liked, but all in all, it was a success. The black and red strips are Washi tape. I added eyelets as a fun element, but also to help hold the tape on. This tape is repositionable, and being on a heat embossed bg, it didn't want to stick very well. Recognize the little black element in the upper right corner? Three black circles, and you have yourself some Mickey Mouse ears! I covered the entire embellie with Glossy Accents (which is why it looks a little bit red in places--reflection from something, but I don't know what).

I colored the rose image (yep, another Flourishes stamp) with Copics, and embossed it the same way I did the heart shaped roses in Year 2. It's amazing how much nicer stamped images look when they are embossed with a stylus! This Year 4 photo was perfect for printing part of a love song on, but there were more photos from that year, so I decided to make a tag for them. To make sure the tag would slide in easily, I added 2 narrow layers of kraft cs strips to the side and bottom edges of the panel to serve as shims. Then, I sewed the top of this panel before attaching it to the cs base. Finally, I sewed the rest of the panel directly to the base, sewing through the shims. I could have glued it, but I needed the tag to be fairly wide and sewing left me more room inside than glue would have.

Here's a look at the tag pulled out. Now, see that little thing at the top of the tag that looks like a tag? Well, it's not actually part of the photo tag. It's another tag, inside the photo tag. Confusing? I'll explain it in just a minute. Oh, and remember I said we printed all the photos in sepia tones? Well, there are three photos in this album that do have some color in them. In this one, the balloons were left pink and blue because the colors have special meaning. Can you guess what it is? That's friend had just found out that she was pregnant. She had filled her foyer with pink and blue balloons as a surprise to her unsuspecting DH!

For Year 5, I wanted to have a "wood" bg, so I went to Lost and Taken and printed one of their images. If you've never visited that site, you should. Fantastic, and FREE, photo images. I especially like the wood, vintage wallpaper, and grunge images.

In case you are wondering, yes, that is Elvis renewing their wedding vows. Seriously, cool! My DD, who just discovered Elvis last month, was duly impressed!

I added silver brads to the corners of this panel. This is the one thing I did in this album that I wish I hadn't. The brads exert a lot of pressure on the fold when the album is closed.

Here's a look at the other side of the album. Keep going for deets on the individual panels. Need a refill on that beverage? ;)

I made a flap for Year 6, with photos on the front, and text inside. To keep the bulk down, I created the text in Word and superimposed it on a digi paper bg, then printed the top part onto the back of a piece of dp, and the bottom part onto plain cs. I glued them together before adhering it to the bg panel, and once it was creased for the fold, you couldn't even see the seam. I added the flourish stamp last.

The gems on the panel are Swarovski crystals that my friend provided. They were clear and I colored them with Copics. I used them throughout the album, and now I'm totally spoiled. Regular rhinestones just won't cut it anymore!

The dp I used for the Year 7 panel made for an easy layout. I incorporated the gold glitter corner element on the paper into the design. I tore the corner off the beach photo to make room for the photo of the house, and it's a little hard to see here, but for this year, my friend received a pair of copper colored earrings, so I glued copper beads to the photo to look like earrings. :)

The Year 8 panel is one of my favs! I needed a bronze element for this year, so I cut a frame for the stunning photo of my friend, then used Distress Inks and Perfect Pearl Mist to color it. Even IRL it looks like bronze metal! The bg dp is lace, but I also put a piece of real lace under the edge of the photo.

Remember I said that there are 3 photos in this album that have color? Here's the second one. The family made a trip to the Sesame Street Theme Park that year and in the photo they are sitting on the Sesame Street stoop that you always see in the shows. In the entire photo, you can see the lamp and street sign, but it is so far from the family that the photo had to be too big for this project. So, I grabbed a color pic of the lamp and sign off the Internet and superimposed it onto the sepia photo. Also, I used Glossy Accents on the globe of the lamp to give it a glassy look.

I actually participated in Year 9 a little, myself. This is the year that I made an anniversary card for my friend to give to her DH. Her request was that I include the elements of china, willow, and leather. You can see the full size photo of the card in this post, but that little photo in the lower right of the Year 9 panel is the card, sepiatized (is that even a word?). It's the third photo that I left color in because it is a "Blue Willow" plate, and it kind of loses something if it's not actually blue. Oh, and the blue rhinestones on this panel are the only ones that aren't Swarvoski crystals.

For this panel, I used a blue Sharpie to draw thin border lines on white cs, stamped Blue Willow images in a couple of places, then embossed the entire panel. There were more photos that wouldn't fit on the panel, so I made another tag for them. See it sticking out of the top?

Here's the photo tag. Because one of the 9th anniversary traditional gifts is leather, I embossed the kraft cs tag with the same embossing folder that I used on the panel, then colored it with Distress Inks, added a large eyelet, and tied a piece of leather cording to the top. I used an edge punch to create the scalloped top.

You still with me? Almost to the end, I promise.

The bg paper for Year 10 is from an old dictionary. I wanted to emphasize the word "love" on that page, but it's at the very bottom, just under the "10," so I couldn't do too much with it except not cover it up. Ironically, when I trimmed the paper for the panel, the word at the top right hand corner was "louse." Don't publishers know that cardmakers are going to destroy their books in the name of sentimentality. I mean, surely they could have done something to avoid that faux pas! Well, I couldn't trim enough to get rid of it, but with all my distressing, unless you know what it says, you can't read it. Maybe I worried about that too much, but having "love" in one corner and "louse" in the opposite corner just seemed wrong to me in a project like this! :)

The characteristic my friend chose for Year 10 is Faith. That gave me the chance to color another beautiful Flourishes stamp! It's a large stamp, though, so I needed to put a large photo with it so it wouldn't be overwhelmed, which didn't leave room for any other photos, so I made hinges from a tab die and created a flap. These photos are underneath the Year 10 panel.

The final panel is one of my friend's favorite quotes, by
Emily Bronte. It seems to sum up their marriage perfectly. I typed the quote in Word and merged two different digital pages to make the bg for it, then printed it out. The black dots are Enamel Accents.

Did you happen to notice all those tags and pieces of twine sticking up all over the place? I love the look, but they are functional, too.

When my friend asked me to make this project for her, she spent a lot of time looking for photos, and just trying to remember when different events and memories took place. And, although many of those things are represented in this album now, years down the road, she may not remember why there are pearl beads on the Year 2 panel, or what the significance is of the characteristics she chose to feature for each panel. My friend plans to display this album in her home, but she didn't want a lot of personal information written in it for just anyone to read, so I made some narrow journaling tags for her that can be left in or out, as she chooses, and I left the top of every panel open so each year can have it's own tag. She'll be able to write anything she wants on these now, while everything is fresh on her mind, then when she's ready to store the album away, she can easily slip each tag behind it's corresponding panel, knowing the memories are preserved for her.


I decided to make a gift box for the album, using my Martha Stewart Scoreboard. The flowers came from my stash. I hot glued the small flowers to the leaves, then glued the large flower to the bottom of the stems so I could tie the bow across the center. made it to the end! Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. I hope it was fun, and I hope it inspires you!

Happy 10th Anniversary, Jessica and Mike!

I'd like to enter this project in the following challenges:
Robin's Fetish Challenge #124: More Than One Fold
Do You Stack Up Challenge #89: Kraft & Twine
Paper Play Challenge '12 - Week 37: Fancy Folds
Paper Pretties Wednesday Challenge PWC223: Paper Punches
Simply Create Too Challenge 21: So Old or Vintage
Stamptacular Sunday Challenge #180: Anything BUT a Card!
Tuesday Throwdown #115: You're A Gem
Whimsy Inspirations Challenge #51: Anything Goes
My Time to Craft Challenge #188: More Than One Fold
Technique Tuesday: Faux Leather Using Masking Tape Challenge
Cupcake Craft Challenge 209: In Stitches
The Pink Elephant Challenge 165: Wedding / Anniversary

Now, I'm off to pack for my trip to Greenville and the stamp convention!!! See you next week!

Stamps: Calla Lilies, Hearts & Flowers, Sweet Nature; He is Risen (Flourishes); Wedded Bliss (Creative Imaginations); Scroll (Autumn Leaves); Blue Willow (Kodomo)
Paper: Moulin Rouge, Reflections, Annalee (Prima); Lost & Taken; Faith Paper Pk (The Paper Studio); The Shimmer Stack, Once Upon a Time (DCWV); Que Sera Sera (K&Co); Shine Digital Paper by Karen Funk, Ticket to Ride Digital Paper by Mye De Leon (Design House Digital); kraft cs; chipboard
Ink: Copic markers; Distress Ink; Memento; white gel pen; gold calligraphy pen
Dies: Curved Rectangles, Labels 21, Labels 3, Labels 18, Std Circles Lg & Sm, Fancy Tags 3, Lotus Pendant, Classic Ovals Sm, Classic Rectangles Sm, Fleur de Lis Squares, Classic Squares Lg, Heart Circles, Romantic Rectangles, Classic Bracket Edgeabilities, Bird Flourishes, Creative Page Tabs (Spellbinders); Mark Your Spot Bookmark die (Taylored Expressions); Alpha Bubbles (Sizzix)
Accessories: Postage Stamp Edge Punch, Diamond Lace Edge Punch, Parisian Edge Punch (EK Success); embossing powder (Zing & Distress); UTEE; Tropical Paisley embossing folder (Sizzix); Distress Ink reinker (to dye seam binding ribbon); seam binding (Hug Snug); burlap; lace; leather cording; household twine; Swarovski crystals; rhinestones; pearls; beads; brads; eyelets; pins; sewing thread; Glossy Accents; Stickles; Enamel Accents; Pearl Pen; Perfect Pearls Mist
Size: Covers are 4" x 6" x 1.75"; each panel is 3.5" x 5.5"
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