Sunday, March 26, 2017

# Bringing Birthdays Back

Hi there :)

Today I've got a little project that I'm working on this year thanks to my lovely friend Sheree.  Back in the middle of January, Sheree and I did a road trip to Wellington to stay with our good friend Esther...  we visited scrapbooking places, Spotlights, ate out and generally had a super awesome time... we SOOO need to do this again! 

I digress... I go off on tangents all the time!  So back to Sheree... she was telling us about a project called 'Bringing Birthdays Back' that she'd heard about through Stampin Up.  Here's the explanation in her own words:

I would like to share with you a project that I am working on.  Stampin Up released a stamp at the beginning of last year and it was a project of Shannon West from the home office.  She was wanting to encourage people to send snail mail.  To encourage this 'Card Movement' she designed a stamp #imbringingbirthdaysback.   I purchased the stamp last year and it sat in my stash till this year.  I decided over the Christmas holidays that I would like to do the same thing.  So since the beginning of January I have been making and sending cards and stamping this stamp on the envelopes. I have attached a photo of a couple of cards that were sent at the beginning of the week to show you the stamp. I am also numbering them as I send them out. This has been very rewarding so far and I will definitely keep this up - it will be interesting at the end of the year to see how many have been sent - so far it is 20 birthday cards.

That email was sent to me over a month ago so I'm sure the card count is a bit higher by now! 

To be honest I'm a slack birthday card sender... Esther can attest to that... I think she's had 2 (or maybe 3) birthday cards in the last 10 years.  I have 'good intentions' of sending cards but then time disappears and it just doesn't happen.  So... I decided to buy this stamp from Sheree and make it a goal to send friends and family birthday cards that I have made... and so far so good!

Sheree's birthday is actually in January so I decided that she would get my #1 card with this stamp and here's what I made for her:

Sheree asked me how I'd made it and luckily I'd taken a couple of photos of the process so here it is in a few easy steps.

I started off by stamping the image with black ink and then heat embossing it with Ranger clear embossing powder.  The image is called 'Fairytale' and it's from Lavinia Stamps.  If you live in New Zealand you can get it from Krafters Cart in Auckland and they have a fabulous service.

I wanted this image stamped on watercolour paper and it was a good thing I had my MISTI handy because it took about six stampings before I finally had the image completely black!

Next I masked off a moon area where the dandelion flower was stamped... at this point I knew exactly how I wanted the finished card to look!

Then I added some colour to my background using Distress Inks - Spun Sugar and Shaded Lilac.  I didn't mask the wings of the fairy but I was super careful around this area because I didn't want any colour in the wings.

Before I removed the mask I added some 'artistic' splatters with Ranger Pearl paint.  I put a bit of the paint onto a stamping block, watered it down a bit and then just 'flicked' it (artistically of course!) from a tiny paint brush. 

Then I unmasked the moon and painted in the wings with my Wink of Stella pen for some sparkle.

I thought the moon was a bit stark so I softly added some watercolour shading using Distress Inks - Pumice Stone and Weathered Wood.

At the last minute I decided to die cut the image with a stitched border die and pop it onto some cardstock to make it stand out.  I also stamped Sheree's name using Concord & 9th's Sophisticated Script stamps - Upper & Lower Case... totally LOVE these stamps!  They have FAB service too!

The final step was to stamp my new stamp on the back of the envelope - I didn't use the MISTI for this one and it stamped perfectly the very first time!

So far I've made (and sent) 8 birthday cards this year... total miracle!  I'm just crossing my fingers I don't run out of steam before Esther has her birthday in October!!  LOL

Thanks so much for visiting xx

Saturday, March 4, 2017

In a galaxy... not so far away!

Hi :)

I'm guessing lots of people look around the internet for ideas to use... otherwise Pinterest would never have been invented... and one of the things I've seen lately is galaxy backgrounds.  There's so many awesome video tutorials out there that I'm not going to do another one... but I will show you the step by step photos of my first attempt.

I started off with some watercolour paper and Twisted Citron Distress Ink:

Then I added Carved Pumpkin:

Followed by Picked Raspberry:

Then I covered over all of that with Wilted Violet:

Next I added some Chipped Sapphire:

And finally some Black Soot around the edges:

Then I sprayed some Glimmer Mist over the top... it gives a gorgeous sparkle and also helped the inks blend in a really cool way:

Finally I added some white spatters with watery paint to give the effect of stars and light:

While all this was going on, my mind was whirling with ideas for how to use this background and then I realised it would be perfect to turn into a birthday card for one of my nephews.  I recently bought Gerda Steiner's Alien Invasion stamp set and I had ideas forming about using the cool little spaceship.

I stamped a few of the images onto watercolour paper and then heat embossed them.

Then I coloured all the images using my Zig Clean Color Markers and cut them out.  I wanted to make the top of the spaceship shiny but I knew if I used Glossy Accents the colours underneath would run... and then I realised the perfect option was to heat emboss clear on top and do several layers so that the top really looked like glass.

After getting the images ready I decided to create a base using some glitter cardstock which I die cut to size.  I also cut the background with my Lawn Fawn stitched rectangles die.

At this point I got so into creating my card that I forgot to take any more photos but here is the finished card:

Since I had everything out I actually made two of these cards... so much fun! Click on the images to get a more detailed view.

I usually leave the inside of my cards blank but since this was a special one for my nephew I added a little something inside:

I'd coloured over the wee alien with my Wink of Stella pen but it didn't show up very well in this photo so I went back indoors and got a better one.... you've gotta love that sparkle!

The card with the orange alien was for my nephew's birthday and I knew he wanted a gift card so I thought I'd make him one to match his card:

Here's the set together... totally loved them and my nephew was very happy with them... although in truth, he was probably happier with the gift card itself rather than the card and gift holder!

I'm happy to report that Gerda Steiner have started making more dies for their stamp sets and this Alien Invasion one now comes with a die which I immediately ordered and it might just arrive here today!  I have to admit that having the dies makes it FAR more likely that I will actually use the stamps.

Thanks for visiting my blog today... wishing you all a fab weekend xx

Sunday, February 26, 2017

More gift card holders... and a little bit of a naughty puppy!

Hi there :)

Following on from yesterdays post about using my new Lawn Fawn small stitched envelope die to create gift card holders I wanted to share a couple more that I made.  Since I had the basics sussed I thought I'd try something a little more creative with the next two... and I remembered to take step by step photos!

I started off using a Winnie & Walter stamp called  Do you see what I see to create my background.  I stamped the background with embossing ink and then heat embossed with clear embossing powder.  This stamp is only 3x4 inches but it's perfect for little projects like this.

Next I got out a couple of my Gansai Tambi paints to give my background some colour.  I really like how soft and creamy these paints can be... but they're also perfect for doing colour washes.  Colours used: Pale Aqua (50) and Cornflower Blue (61). 

Another cool thing about using Gansai Tambi paints is that if you use one colour a lot you can actually just buy individual watercolour blocks in the little plastic trays to replace the colour you've run out of... totally brilliant!

Right, back to the project, after letting my little background dry a bit I ran it through the Big Shot with the front panel die from the set.

So pretty and the stitching really adds a finishing touch!

Next I decided to add a gorgeous polar bear from MFT Polar Bear Pals stamp and die set.  After stamping and heat embossing my image I die cut him and then coloured him using my Zig Clean Color Markers.  I was able to colour match his scarf pretty well with the background colours too!

Then I decided to stamp a sentiment on the background.  It looks a bit patchy in the photo but in real life it's pretty good.

Since I was trying to take things up a notch I decided to stamp and heat emboss another sentiment on the back of the envelope.

Then it was time to adhere the front panel and the polar bear to the envelope.  The front panel was adhered with tape runner and the polar bear is on foam dots for a bit of added dimension.

Of course, it's a bit silly to say 'I come bearing gifts' without there being some polar bear gifts so I decided to stamp, emboss and colour a cute little bucket of fish from the set.

It really did help finish off the back panel:

At this point I decided the front panel needed something... and I had just the right something for it... some GORGEOUS sequins from Lucy's Cards... this pack is called Cool Breeze and I'm totally loving all the little bits of gorgeousness included in the pack!

Just an FYI: The packs from Lucy's Cards arrive in little zip lock bags but I wanted to have mine on display... I've bought several sets... so, while I was at a local chemist I saw these gorgeous little glass jars and couldn't resist them.  I emptied all the packs into their own jars, peeled the stickers off the little bags and added them to the fronts of the jars and voila... lots of pretty things to look at and USE!

Here's how the front panel turned out:

At this stage the mojo was still completely flowing so I kept going and made another gift card holder.  This time I used a Prima Stamp from their Bedtime Story collection.  I bought this stamp several years ago and never got around to opening it so it's definitely a NBUS item!

This time I used Rangers Queen's Gold embossing powder and stamped the image in two halves to create a full background.  I didn't worry too much about the 'join line' because it wasn't going to show up in the finished project.

This time I used dark colours from the Gansai Tambi paints to colour my background, Deep Blue (67), Deep Violet (38), Menthol Violet (66),  Dark Brown (47), and Black (20).

Then I die cut the label from my newly created background and stamped, embossed and die cut an image from MFT Adorable Elephants stamp and die set.

I coloured my elephant using Zig Clean Color Markers... I love how gorgeous he is!

I stamped one of the sentiments from the Adorable Elephants set and die cut it with a little banner die from MFT Tag Builder Blueprints 6.

Then it was time to put it all together... and add a few little glimmer star sequins along with a rhinestone on the sentiment banner!  After all, who can resist a little bling??

I wanted to 'dress up' the back of the gift card envelope so I stamped and heat embossed some stars from Lawn Fawn's Summertime Charm stamp and die set.  I also die cut some little stars from some of the left over background.  Unfortunately I didn't check my photos very well because it was a bit fuzzy... but I'm sure you get the idea.

I did think to get a 'group photo' with all my little envelopes... so much cuteness in one space!  You definitely want to click on the photo to see them in more detail!

So there you have it... an Auntie's solution to making a gift card more than just a gift card!

Now for something from the 'home files' section... our fur babies KNOW they're not allowed on the bed... but I often find one or the other one on the bed having a little nap... actually it's more Toby than Nivea that does that!

Having said that, on the weekend, Michael often says that they can come up on the bed for a cuddle... but yesterday I walked in to find something quite different... Miss Nivea was not just on the bed... she was IN it.  Actually she was TUCKED IN!  Thankfully I had my phone on me so I was able to capture a quick snap of her!

Daddy (Michael) was still in bed and this naughty little girl was all snuggled up beside him and had her head on MY pillow!!!  When I got the first photo she looked up at me as if to say... but Daddy said I could be here:

If Auntie Nina saw this she'd be saying... Back to the pound!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog today xx