Saturday, October 25, 2008

Haunted House #4

Edited: I have found the original inspiration for this, see the end.

Halloween is a week away, which for me triggers the start of Christmas card-making. This card again uses lots of Michelle Zindorf style brayering, with some sponging and distressing. It really takes no time at all and I feel like my brayering is really improving. It's a wonderful technique and the dramatic results work perfectly for Halloween cards and projects.
I was actually inspired this morning by a mylar balloon that I saw in Publix. The image is almost exactly what you see here. The background was a gradient from purple up to green, with a red to yellow sun. The haunted house and tree were so close to the Stampin' Up! House of Haunts image that I had to make it. I used mostly Stampin' Up! inks for the background, and Classic Black for the tree. No versamark or embossing here. The moon was brayered on a separate two-inch circle and adhered to the background. I then stamped onto the panel with the haunted house. Just prior to stamping, I very carefully removed the ink from the moon portion of the stamp, since I already had that on my panel. Unfortunately, there was a gap in the stamped image where the moon attaches, but I used a black marker to fill in any gaps. I also misjudged the position of the tree and the house, and sponged some more black to make it look more connected.
The googly eyes glow-in-the-dark when you turn off the light. This was Olivia's addition to the card, and they came from one of those foam haunted house kits at Michael's. She's obsessed with glow-in-the-dark products. We've cleared out Michael's of all their glow-in-the-dark paints, clay, foam, etc. Fun!

This photograph highlights every flaw, the card actually looks really cool in person.

Click on the image to see a larger version, with our cat in the background. His name is Bill.

EDITED TO ADD: My crack Google research skillz (aka hours of mindlesss internet browsing) have finally paid off. I have located the balloon that I spotted at the grocery store which was my inspiration for this card. You can see it here.

I could have sworn the colors went from green to purple, not purple to blue as shown here - and I don't recall the cemetery at all. Although I managed to see the moon correct. I definitely remember the tree with the eyes and if I had some decent gel pens I wanted to do that on my card. I also reversed the images, but either way hopefully you can see the resemblance between the balloon and my card.

I'm going to try again, using this color scheme and maybe embellish with more of the bats and spider webs. Only a few days left to stamp these spooky scenes!
Stamps: House of Haunts (Stampin' Up!)
Ink: Stampin' Up! - Eggplant Envy, Green Galore, Garden Green, Classic Black, Summer Sun, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie; Other Inks - Versamagic Chalk Perfect Plumeria, and Aegean Blue. Distress Tea Dye
Paper: Stampin' Up! Whisper White, Papertrey Ink Plum Pudding
Accessories: Heidi Swapp Distresser, Brayer, Adhesive, Glow-In-Dark Googly Eyes from a Michael's foam craft kit.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bella Rose Top Note:A Variation

This card is a variation on one I made earlier last week using Bella Blossoms and the Top Note die. This one adds a litle Bella Rose DSP (designer series paper) and I mounted the front onto Pink Pirouette In Color cardstock. The edge of the Top Note Bigz die is sponged with Pink Pirouette ink.

Recipe (all supplies Stampin' Up!)
Stamps: Bella Blossoms
Ink: Rose Red, Kiwi Kiss, Pink Pirouette
Paper: Bella Rose DSP, Pink Pirouette
Accessories: Scallop Edge Border Punch, Slot Punch, Top Note Bigz Die, Sponge Daubers

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eastern Blooms & Stampin' Pastels Card

I'm going to change up the Halloween theme a bit to show you this card using Stampin' Up! products from the new catalog. The stamp set is Eastern Blooms and the colors are Tangerine Tango and Pacific Point (In Colors). Flowers are stamped with Versamark ink, then Stampin' Pastels are applied to the Versamark using a sponge dauber. I trimmed each flower using my snips. This doesn't take as long as it sounds.

And please don't fault my Stampin' Up! White Craft pad for the poor result with the polka dots. It's very old and I think time to replace with a fresh new pad.

Stamps: Eastern Blooms, Polka Dot Background, Sentiments
Ink: Versamark, White Craft
Accessories: Stampin' Pastels, Scallop Edge Border Punch, White Embossing Powder

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Go Rays!

Tampa Bay Rays Logo

Y'all know I NEVER do sports-themed posts, but we're on our way to the AL Game 6 at Tropicana Field. I'll post of picture later of the t-shirt my very crafty mama made for me to wear!

Go Rays!

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Haunted House Halloween Cards

No other holiday or event has any many wonderfully cool papercraft products as Halloween. Scrapbook papers, punches, stamps and embellishments are at their best at Halloween, and I buy as many as I can. I especially love Haunted Houses. I have a few great Haunted House stamps, but unfortunately most of them are still in storage.

This is the new one from Stampin' Up! called "House of Haunts."

It's very cool, especially with the little cemetary scene in front. I'm not exactly thrilled with the colors, but it's still cute. In a few days I'm going to case this beautiful Haunted House card. I even got the Boards & Beams stamp set!

Not visible in these pictures in the glow in the dark paint I used to experiment with the haunted house. After stamping the house in black, I simply painted on a few accents on the windows with DecoArts Glow In The Dark paint. It makes a fun touch for a spooky card and kids go crazy for it!

Here is Olivia's(5 years old) version of the same card.

Stamps: Stampin' Up! House of Haunts
Ink: Elegant Eggplant, Basic Black, Versamark, So Saffron
Paper: Cosmo Cricket, SU Cardstocks
Accessories: Martha Stewart Drippy Goo Border Punch, Glossy Accents, Martha Stewart Spider Punch, Square Nestabilities

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stampin' Up! House of Haunts Card

This is another card based on the brayering technique that I originally learned from Michelle Zindorf's inspiring blog. Please head over there for her tutorials.

Brayering adds a dramatic feeling to a scene, which I think is perfect for a Halloween card.

I hope you enjoy!

Stamps: House of Haunts
Ink: Night of Navy, Not Quite Navy, Kiwi Kiss, Elegant Eggplant, So Saffron, Really Rust
Paper: Whisper White, Elegant Eggplant, Classic Black, White Gel Pen
Accessories: Sponges, Brayer , Stampin' Dimensions

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stampin' Up! Big Shot/Big Kick Compatibility

Recently I have read numerous questions regarding compatibility among Stampin' Up!'s new Big Shot die-cutting machine and dies & other competing brands. In order to help answer some of your questions, I'd like to present some information to help clarify compatibility with the Stampin' Up! Big Shot.

First of all, let me just answer some very frequently asked questions (VFAQ?):

  1. "Will my my Cuttlebug dies and embossing folders work in the Stampin' Up! Big Shot?" YES

  2. "Will the Stampin' Up! BIg Shot dies work in my Cuttlebug?" YES

  3. "Will the Stampin' Up! Top Note die work in my Cuttlebug?" YES

  4. "Do Spellbinders Nestabilities work in the Stampin' Up! Big Shot?" YES

  5. "Will Cuttlebug Embossing Folders work in the Stampin' Up! Big Shot?" YES

However, keep in mind that there are some exceptions. Remember that while die-cutting manufacters generally try to make their machines as universally compatible as possible, the only "sure-fit" will usually be with the dies and machines made by the same manufacter. For example, it's pretty obvious that any of the Stampin' Up! dies will certainly fit in the Stampin' Up! Big Shot. And because it's manufactured by Sizzix, ANY Sizzix products from other retailers will fit in the Big Shot too! The same goes for Cuttlebug, all Provo Craft dies will fit in the Cuttlebug machine. However, Stampin' Up! Big Shot owners also get the benefit of being able to use just about any die or embossing folder available, including Cuttlebug and Spellbinders.

But, when using a die manufacturered for a different machine, plan on tweaking until you find the right fit. In my personal experience, Cuttblebug dies and folders work perfectly fine in the Big Shot without any tweaking. The Nestabilities dies also cut beautifully in the Big Shot. However, embossing with the Nestabilities requires adding just the right amount of shim to make the embossing crisp. This is just a matter of experimenting until you find the right thickness to make the sandwich work. Once you've mastered this one time, you'll know exactly what you need to do each time in the future.

So, in summary, it's fair to say that for the most part - the Stampin' Up! Big Shot will work with every available die, but just remember that some dies may take a little bit of effort in terms of determining what the appropriate sandwich is. And of course, email me if you has any questions!

For more on die cutting, please check out my die-cutting tutorial.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Zindorf-Inspired Halloween

Are you familiar with Michelle Zindorf's beautiful cards? Her blog has very detailed tutorials
describing her sponging and brayering techniques, I highly recommend a visit if you need a little (or a lot of) inspiration.

These cards are my interpretations. On the first (navy blue) card, I had a lot of help from my 5 year-old daughter. She decides that some stickles covering the entire card were in order. I actually like the shimmery effect on top of the brayering, and next time might try adding some twinkling H20s or something along those lines to add some shimmer without all the glitter. Remind me to hide the glitter...

Although I'm really happy with the scenes themselves, I always get stuck with appropriate placement and design on the card itself. I like the orange one because the focal point is square, and I put it on a square card. I should have done that with the blue one as well.

Stamps: Inkadinkado Halloween
Paper: Stampin' Up! (various colors)
Ink: SU! - Elegant Eggplant, Night of Navy, Not Quite Navy, PTI - Lemon Tart, Summer Sunrise