Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Christmas Deer Tag

**OK, correction- he's a Christmas Deer not a Moose- although he still looks a bit like a moose to me!**

Hello Everyone! Just a quick post today to share a Christmas tag I made over the weekend with another digital stamp I purchased from Zlatoena's Etsy store. When I saw this moose, I immediately fell it love- so many cute Christmas cards and tags floating in my head!

The wonderful thing about digital stamps is that you can resize them to fit your needs or amend the image. Here, I opened the Moose in Photoshop, added text boxes over the labels hanging from his antlers and added the words "Do Not Open", then printed "'Til Christmas" on another sheet. This customizes the image a bit and is super easy to do. After I printed the altered Moose onto Whisper White card stock, I colored him with Copics and cut the image out using a nested label die on my Sizzix machine.

The rest of the tag went together very quickly- the base is a Kraft tag cut with a larger labels die, run through a snowflake embossing folder and sponged with Whisper White craft ink to accent the snowflakes. I added papers from an old stash of Basic Grey "Dasher" and a white strip punched with the Scallop Trim border punch. A jumbo pewter brad was placed through the tag and greeting with my Crop-a-dile (best tool on earth!) and it was finished with some pretty red silk ribbon.

This tag should go on my SIL's presents 'cause she's a cheater!

Hope you're having a great day-90 degrees here in Houston today- bring on the cold front!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!

I was cruising around Etsy last weekend when my daughter and I saw this cute digi bunny stamp from the artist, Zlatoena, and it was love at first site (or bite!). Now, if you've never been on Etsy you MUST go now! This is a site where people can sell anything handmade- unbelievably fabulous! I am not responsible for any obsessions with handmade jewelry, fabric or vintage pieces that occur as a result of this recommendation...

OK, onto my cute little friend! I printed the Birthday Rabbit on Whisper White card stock and colored him with Copic markers, pulling colors from the patterned paper. I wanted to keep the rabbit white, so followed the lead of others who have posted using this stamp and colored a halo around his ears so they stand out. I added sparkle to the cake stripes and candle flames with Spica glitter pens and made the icing shine by coating it with Crystal Effects glue- it makes the icing look so real my kids keep feeling it!

I had two random pieces of this pretty sparkle dot paper, which seemed perfect for a girlie birthday card, but no coordinating pieces.  Sizzix machine to the rescue!  I embossed a sheet of Cool Caribbean with an argyle embossing folder which makes a nice combo with the dots (I think that machine gets more use than my dishwasher-lol!). Each of the pieces was layered onto Early Espresso then onto a Pretty in Pink card base. A few silver brads, a double-tied bow and a computer generated greeting done!

Since kids don't tend to write a lot on the inside of a card, I used some more of the sparkly dot paper for the background and stamped a birthday greeting on a smaller inset. Darling daughter has requested this card for her birthday (which is not until May...) so I am sure this rabbit is going to see some use!

Hope my little rabbit made you smile and that you're having a good day!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Arrgh Matey!

Good morning! It was a busy weekend as usual in the Karpen house- swim meet, Girl Scouts, homework projects- but I managed to sneak in some stamping time anyway:) As many of you know, I am a huge fan of digital stamps- they can be easily re-sized, colored digitally and, best of all, they don't take up any space in my stamp room! I indulged myself in a bunch of new digi stamps this weekend and I have some fun cards to share with you this week.

I need a boy birthday card for a party next weekend and thought this little mouse from Heather Ellis was so perfect- cute but not girl-ish (no sweet cards, mom!). I dug through my paper stash and found some bright paper from Scenic Route I've been hoarding (2006 purchase...) and paired it with some simple accessories- black velvet ric rac and silver brads- clearly no bows for this one, lol!

The little pirate mouse was colored with Copics- I had the worst trouble deciding on color combos for his hat and shirt and I'm still not sure that this works, but I am quite sure that the 8 year old boy who receives it will not notice! I colored the treasure with gold and red Spica glitter pens- they're so sparkly and shiny IRL- my son thought that was so cool!

The greeting on the front was computer generated and punched out with a Word Window punch. The inside is finished with some of the striped DP and a birthday stamp from Stampin' Up. This was super cute and fast (other than coloring 3 mice to get the right gray and best shirt/scarf combos-lol!).

Hope you're having a good start to your week~

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Droopy whiskers...

My very elderly aunt (93 years old) was just hospitalized last week and they are having trouble figuring out what's wrong with her (except, as she says, getting old and wearing out!). As the only physician in the family, this makes me nuts because I never really get the clear story and I have seen poor practice can be in outlying areas compared to major medical centers. All I can do from this far away is pray that she gets good care and support them by phone. Oh, and make a card!

My kids decided to "help" me make a card for her to cheer her up, so hopefully that explains the stamp and color choices of this card-lol! I started with the Wednesday sketch challenge over at Splitcoast  and this adorable "Mouse in the House" digital stamp from Heather Ellis.

My kids picked cotton candy sweet papers from the "Pawsitively Prints" collection from Stampin' Up, not my taste, but I went with it. I colored the mouse pretty simply because there is a lot going on in the patterned papers.

With a sketch, the rest goes together pretty easily- just plug papers into the right dimensions and you're good to go. I added a few extra layers and a punched edge to make it a bit more frilly-my aunt is a girlie-girl at heart (pink lipstick, pastel colors in her closet) so I am sure she will appreciate this! A  computer generated greeting and a layered button tied with hemp twine finish it off.

The inside is finished with some of the floral paper and a "get well" wish. Hopefully this will cheer her up a bit- she's a great, tough lady and I hope she's out and about soon!

Thanks for stopping by~

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vintage Christmas...

Today just seems like one of those days that no matter what you try to do, you get derailed! My car is in the shop (no word for 2 days on what they think is wrong with it- that's not good), one of the toilets I ordered online for my new bathroom came cracked (and they think it's not their problem) and hubby is on his way for another 4 day trip so no backup there-ugh! I think that no matter how successful a woman becomes, or how much her husband helps out at home, when stuff comes up, the wife gets to deal with it!

OK, enough griping abut toilets- down to some stamping. I am starting to make some cards for my next class and wanted to use this sweet vintage set called "Greeting Card Kids" from Stampin' Up. This is probably my favorite set from the new Idea Book & Catalog- the images are great for coloring and there's one for each season. I stamped the image onto Very Vanilla card stock using Memento "Rich Cocoa", colored it with Copics, then cut it out using a nested die on my Sizzix Big Shot. While the die was still in place, I sponged some ink lightly in the background to make it feel a bit more aged, while leaving a clear rim to set it off. The image was layered onto another nested shape cut from Early Espresso- this is such a perfect brown color!

I usually pick my papers before I color and image and now I know why: when I got this image all done, I realized that the patterned paper I wanted to use, "Deck the Halls" has a more burgundy red in the mix-aah! I wasn't coloring a new image, so I dug through last year's paper and found this pretty red flocked piece from the "Christmas Cocoa" set. The flocking was bright white (which didn't go with the vintage feel), but a sponge and some light brown ink to the rescue and now it matches with the other papers! I used some of the new Seam Binding ribbon (wow, this ribbon ties beautifully!), a button from the "Deck the Halls" button set and some pearls to finish off the front.

The inside was finished with a greeting from the "Bright Christmas" set (gorgeous fonts!) stamped in Early Espresso and Riding Hood Red and a border of the Christmas Cocoa flocked paper punched with a scallop edge punch.

My daughter said it was way too early to start Christmas cards, but somehow the weeks between Halloween and Christmas seem to disappear. I am determined to get a few more projects done this year- so we'll see...

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by~

Stamps: Greeting Card Kids, Bright Christmas
Paper: Early Espresso, Very Vanilla, Christmas Cocoa DP (retired), Deck the Halls DP
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa, Early Espresso, Riding Hood Red
Accessories: Copics, Seam Binding ribbon, Deck the Halls buttons, Basic Pearls, hemp twine, dimensionals

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thinking of you...

Hello Everyone! Just a quick post today to share a sympathy card I made for a friend lost her sister unexpectedly. I pulled this pretty paper from Cosmo Cricket out weeks ago and had a vague idea of what I wanted the card to look like. There it has sat gathering dust, awaiting some inspiration. The papers are so detailed and pretty that they seemed to compete with every image I tried.

Eventually I went with this beautiful background stamp from Unity Stamps and a word greeting from a retired SU set, All Year Cheer I. The filigree background was stamped in Cajun Craze and sponged liberally with Vintage Photo Distress ink. The greeting was stamped in Early Espresso, cut out with an oval Nestability and sponged with the same Distress ink. An Early Espresso satin ribbon bow with long tails and some copper brads finish it off.

The inside is finished simply with one of the other coordinating prints and plenty of space for a hand-written note. This layout would be pretty with holiday papers and a pretty embossed Christmas greeting. Hmmm, I feel another card coming on...

Hope you're having a good day~

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Fall

Good morning! Boy it's been awhile since I've posted- too much going on in the Karpen house! Hubby has been traveling a lot (6 trips in 6 weeks-yikes!), swim meets, homecoming, Girl Scouts, etc. To add to the chaos, we ripped out our master bathroom last week ("we" being a good friend who is a builder) so hubby and I are "sharing" my closet and a small bathroom in our playroom- good thing he's traveling so much this month :) All of this has left little time for me to stamp and not much Mojo to go with it.
While I was searching for some inspiration, I came across this week's SFYTT (sketch for you to try) and decided to give it a whirl. Starting with a sketch is the easiest and fastest way to get a card done- look a the sketch elements, pick the papers, pick the stamp set, then just add the accents at the end- done! It may seem weird to pick the papers before the stamp set, but I often get more inspiration that way- it's also a good idea to dig through your patterned paper scraps- you'll be surprised at what combinations leap out of the box.

My scrap box yielded this fall combo from some scrapbooking left-overs from a few years back and I decided to pair them with this "Pure Innocence" digital stamp from Heather Ellis. I stitched a simple zigzag stitch across the bottom of the brown leaf paper then just layered the papers as in the sketch. The sketch didn't have an easy place for a greeting so I made a strip in Photoshop with "Happy Fall" (or "Fall Happy" as I now realize it looks like on the left-lol! Some felt flowers and leaf buttons from my stash finish it off.

The main image was printed out on Very Vanilla card stock, colored it with Copics, then her polka dotted dress was paper pieced  over the top. when paper piecing, it is key to color first then glue the paper pieces on last- otherwise stray bits of glue can act as a resist when you try to color.  I sponged a bit of So Saffron over the background- it's not as dark IRL and gives a soft glow.

The inside is finished with a strip of the brown leaf print and a strip pf the pumpkin patterned paper punched with the scallop trim border punch from Stampin' Up. I left it blank inside for now so I can decide whether to use it for Halloween or, more likely, Thanksgiving.

That's it for today- I'll be back tomorrow with a simple sympathy card I made for a friend. Have a great day~

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Birthday Fairy...

Thank goodness it's Thursday! This means that the week is almost over and I have survived another birthday! For some reason this birthday hit me in a funny way and I was absolutely not enthusiastic about it. I turned down a fancy dinner with my hubby, didn't want cake- just generally cross all around. I ended up making a nice dinner at home (shrimp scampi with gelato and champagne for dessert- my kitchen is the best restaurant I know-lol!). I decided I needed to make myself a birthday card to cheer myself up!

I had borrowed a couple MFT stamps from a friend awhile back and stamped a whole bunch of images to keep in a stash for "later". I decided to pull out one of those cute Jolinne stamps- Fairy Sweet" for my card. The image was stamped in Memento "Tuxedo Black" on Whisper White card stock and colored with Copic markers. The polka dots on her leggings were made with a darker shade of purple to mimic the polka dot paper underneath.

Her wings were colored with a very light yellow-green, then colored with Versamarker and Iridescent Ice embossing powder to give them sparkle and shine! This close-up shows that either I need a Copic coloring class or she needs a die job-lol! The card was put together with a Perfect Plum 5-3/4" card base and patterned papers from the My Mind's Eye Penny Lane Collection- so sparkly and fun!

The inside was finished with a birthday greeting and a coordinating mix of the patterned papers, scallop punched edges and stitching. All in all, a great card to give myself, although it will probably go to whoever is my daughter's next friend with a birthday:)

The best part about birthdays: they only come once a year and they beat the alternative!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Simple Thanksgiving

Hi Everyone! Just a quick post today to share the last in the series of cards we made last week at my stamp class. By the end of last week, I was completely out of creative Mojo and could not for the life of me come up with a great Thanksgiving card. I played with several fall sets and finally decided on Autumn Splendor with a simple layout.

The card base is a single sheet of 4-1/4 x 5-1/2" Cajun Craze onto which I layered a standard A2 Whisper White card, trimmed just an 1/8" on each side to fit onto the Cajun backer. I used a single layer backer on cards like this because the white card stock doesn't generally feel sturdy enough to support all the other layers on the front.

The windows were made by punching 1-3/8" squares evenly spaced in a 5-1/2 x 2-3/4" white strip and 1/2" strips of each color were added on the top and bottom edges. The leaves were stamped in Old Olive, So Saffron and Cajun Craze, cut out and mounted on double thick dimensional dots to stand out from the frame. A greeting from the Teeny Tiny Wishes set was stamped with Basic Black ink and punched with the Word Window punch. 

Super simple and easy to mass produce for the holidays!

Hope you're having a great day~


Stamps: Autumn Splendor, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Whisper White, Old Olive, So Saffron, Cajun Craze
Ink: Old Olive, So Saffron, Cajun Craze, Basic Black
Accessories: 1-3/8"Square Punch, Word Window Punch, dimensionals

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Feeling corky...

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to sneak in a quick post before I head outside to putter in the garden- it's such a beautiful day it is here in Houston- 85, sunny and low humidity- just gorgeous! It's been such a long summer (a good thing unless you live way down south, then it's just way too hot for way too long!) that we're glad to feel the cool off and be able to ride bikes and play outside again.

OK, onto my card for the day. I bought some cork sheets awhile back that have been sitting on my desk waiting for some Mojo and my monthly stamp class was the perfect excuse I needed to break them out. I was inspired by a card in the Idea Book & Catalog that used the "Pick a Petal" set and changed it up to suit my style.

The flower petals were stamped in Baja Breeze and Chocolate Chip- I have to admit this set used to be hard to position, but after converting it to a clear mount set with thin EZ Mount cling foam, it is much easier to see where the petals will fall, so to speak! I am in the process of converting my favorite sets from wood to cling, but it's a slow process!

I stamped the open petal image on the cork sheets and cut them out with regular paper scissors- a bit thick, but soft so they cut easily. The rest of the card is CAS (clean and simple)- the edge of the Saffron paper punched with the scallop trim border punch and a greeting from the "Teeny Tiny Wishes" set punched with the Word Window punch and layered onto a Modern Label punched from Saffron.

Hope you're having good weather where you are and get a chance to relax before the week starts!

Stamps: Pick a Petal, Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: Chocolate Chip, So Saffron, Baja Breeze, Whisper White
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Baja Breeze
Accessories: Cork sheets, Scallop Trim border punch, Word Window punch, Modern Label punch

Friday, October 1, 2010

Awash with flowers...

Woo-hoo it's Friday! I am absolutely ready for the weekend and it looks like we will finally have perfect weather (60/85 degrees with low humidity) after a very long summer! I am actually feeling motivated to get out in the garden to do some much needed clean-up and fall planting. In keeping with the sunny weather, I was in the mood for something bright and cheery and finally inked up this set, appropriately named "Awash with Flowers".

At each class I try to introduce new techniques to the group (and re-visit them for old-timers)- this card uses two-step stamping, masking and sponging. To give myself a sense of borders, I die cut my white shape before stamping- the new clear mount stamps make it much easier to position images! I first stamped the black outlines of the flowers, then stamped the "filling" for each flower. Each flower outline was then stamped onto computer paper and cut out to use as "masks". The mask is applied over the image with re-positionable adhesive- this allows you to layer images and protects it from stray marks or sponged colors. I left the masks in place while I stamped the flower stems and sponged the background with Marina Mist ink.

The Chocolate Chip card base was made layered with Whisper White, Daffodil Delight and pattered papers from the "Greenhouse Gala" set, separated by a strip of Poppy Parade ribbon. The image was layered onto a Marina Mist die cut shape and paired with a simple little greeting- I intentionally left the inside blank so I can use it for a birthday or other occasion as I need.

Tomorrow I will share another version of this card that showcases the "More is More" idea- more layers, more embellishments, more stuff- and you can decide which one is better!

Have a great weekend~