A crop party is a modern quilting bee. A group of friends gather to have girl friend time, sharing joys and sorrows while preserving memories and creating a special keepsake.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Eclipse of the Heart

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, and yes, we got married on a Friday.  I have been wanting to try an Eclipse card.  If you are not familiar with the technique, the idea is you die cut letters, or in my case shapes, out of your image and then put them back in place popped up.  Right now I am seeing a lot of cards using letters, but I like to put hearts and flowers on my romantic cards for my husband, so I went with hearts instead spelling out the word love.  He knows I love him, right?

First I want to talk about challenges.  I started this blog five years ago this month, so I could participate in the Mojo Monday challenge because I wanted to give myself "homework assignments" and grow as a cardmarker.  My cards have definitely evolved as the number of challenges I follow has grown.  I have just started following two new for me ones:  The As You Like It Challenge asks you to make a choice between two items, themes, etc. or maybe pick a favorite something such as paper and then explain why you made that choice.  This week the challenge is ribbon or flowers.  For an anniversary card that is easy.  My husband has always given me roses for no reason except that they are pretty and he thinks I will enjoy them.  Even in our starving student days he would sometimes stop by a florist and buy a single rose.  It should come as no surprise that most of the anniversary and I love you cards I make for him include roses.

The second challenge I have begun following, Happy Little Stampers, has several challenges each month that run for the entire month so you have plenty of time to work on your entry(ies).  They are designed to "inspire you to create using techniques or products that may be new to you or just a refresher on using them."  Each month there is a Watercolor (or any medium using water), CAS, Christmas, Mixed Media, Anything Goes With a Die Cut, and ATC challenge.  This card is for the Die Cut challenge.

If you like pink, with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, a number of challenges including The Sisterhood of Crafters, Craft Rocket Challenges, Fussy and Fancy Friday Challenge want to see projects featuring it.  I am also entering this in the Stamps & Fun = Creativity challenge to make something "non cute."

Now back to the card:

I started with a stamp from the Lady Rose set by Tom Holtz whose designs are often messy with a lot of texture and a vintage feel.  This is what it looks like stamped with black ink on white and dark brown on ivory paper:

When colored with your favorite medium, the color of the ink will dominate when using a dark ink to stamp.  I chose to stamp it in Close to My Heart's Champagne ink which is a light beige.  This allowed me to use my Prismacolor pencils to color over the stamping.  Any beige showing through just added to the muted, vintage feel I was aiming for.  While I had the Champagne ink out I sponged in circles around the edges of my paper to "age" it.  

Once I was satisfied with my image it was time to cut the hearts.   This is easiest using dies which  you can position on the image however looks best to you before cutting.  I imagine you could use a Cricut type machine to cut the word on plain paper, leave the cut and background together and then create your image so the raised sections will coordinate nicely with die cut.  I cut the smallest heart first and then the larger one.  Some people pop up their die cuts with foam tape.  I prefer to stack multiple dies cuts to get more of a chip board effect.  Again, this is where dies shine.  Each one will be exactly the same.  The one complication for this design was the carved out part in the large heart.  After each was cut I used the original heart to trace the carved out spot so it would be in the same place, allowing the smaller heart to fit in perfectly.  I used five layers of pink cardstock to pop up the large heart and seven for the small one.

Lastly I embossed the sentiment in gold, added a few clear Nuvo Crystal Drops for balance and mounted the panel onto a piece of pink cardstock.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Monday, October 2, 2017

Elegant Wedding Card

Over the years there have been a number of college students to whom I have sent care packages and cards of encouragement.  Some have been family, some the children of friends.  I have had the privilege to watch one of "my students" to grow from a high schooler singing in a praise band, to a college student, to high school teacher, and now a Navy wife.  I have always felt that gold, ivory, and black is an elegant combination suitable for a wedding. 

The center panel is Hero Arts' Leafy Vines stamp embossed with Ranger Princess Gold embossing powder and embellished with Black Nuvo Drops.  The sentiment was stamped with Black Versafine ink, an intensely black pigment ink, and embossed with Stampendous Clear Detail embossing powder.  This let me avoid the perils of stray flecks of black embossing powder.  To gild the edges I lightly pressed the edges perpendicularly into Versamark and then into gold embossing powder and heat set.  I popped it up with thin foam tape.  The ribbon is Shimmer Ribbon from Close to my Heart.

Now to photograph my cards I like to bounce the flash straight up to flood the subject with diffused, even light to show details.  Here is a shot with the flash bounced at an angle to show the shine.  Put on your sunglasses!

Here is the inside.  The sentiment and bells are also embossed.

Did I mention that the Monday Simon Says Challenge theme is "Heavy Metal?"   I am entering this card into that challenge and well as the Addicted to Stamps and More "Anything Goes" challenge.  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Merry Monday Penguins

The theme of this week's Merry Monday Christmas Challenge is penguins and the Jingle Belles want to see some embossing, so I broke out my favorite penguin stamp set and made a card using this Freshly Made sketch:

I stamped the penguin and sentiment with pigment inks and heat embossed them with clear detail powder and then used a Staedtler marker to add a pop of red to the penguin.  I made the frame using two Nestabilities circle dies.  Before removing the paper from the dies I ran it through my Cuttlebug again with a tan embossing mat to get the ring around the middle.  To give the striped strip definition I lightly pressed to edges perpendicularly into a black ink pad.  Here is the inside:

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used:
Paper:  Black and White Daisy cardstock, Live Beautifully by Close to My Heart
Stamps:  Wintry Wishes, Very Merry Christmas, Merriest Christmas by Close to My Heart
Ink:  Black Versafine ink, Cranberry dye and pigment inks from Close to My Heart, Red Staedtler marker
Embellishments:  Snowflake punch by Marvy Uchida, Embossing frolder by Darice, Stampendous Clear Detail powder, White Nuvo drops

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fab Friday Ornaments

This card was inspired by this Fab Friday sketch:

The ornaments were made using the thinlet set that co-ordinates with Stampin' Up's Embellished Ornaments stamp set.  In addition to having outlines to cut out stamped images, there are some dies designed for layering.  To make the ornaments, I covered each die cut with Versamark ink, heat embossed them with Gold Superfine Detail powder from Ranger or Black Detail powder from Stampendous, and then layered them.   I looped black metallic embroidery thread  around the hangers and, once the ornaments were glued in place, wrapped the ends round to the back and used tape to secure them.  A small bow and pearls brightened up the ornaments.   Here is a close up:

The sentiment was stamped in Black Versafine ink, an intensely black pigment ink, and embossed with clear detail powder.  To gild the edges, I pressed them lightly into Versamark  and then gold embossing powder and heat embossed.  The sentiment is attached with thin foam tape.  Lastly I attached the completed panel to a card base with craft foam in between for dimension.  This card is a 6.5 x 5 inches to accommodate the ornaments and keep with the sketch.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used:
Paper:  Colonial White cardstock
Stamps:  Embellished Ornaments and Star of Light from Stampin' Up
Ink:  Versamark, Black Versafine
Embellishments:  Superfine Gold Detail embossing powder from Ranger, Clear Detail and Black Detail powder from Stampendous, Ribbon by Offray, Pearl Opaques from Close to My Heart, Sew easy Fancy Floss from We R Memory Keepers

Monday, September 25, 2017

First Christmas Card of the Year

It's late September, long past when I usually start making Christmas cards.  Never mind that temperatures have been running in the upper 80's...  This is my first of the season created using this Freshly Made Sketch:

I made the star using the thinlets that co-ordinate with Stampin' Up's Star of Light stamp set.  What I like about their die cut sets is that you can say they are value added.  Containing more than outline dies that let you avoid fussy cutting stamped images, they include dies that can cut layers, embellishments, and/or windows.  First I used an outline stamp to cut the star shape which I painted several times with a gold shimmer pen to give it a subtle background shine.  Next I cut the lacy layer and heat embossed it twice with white super fine detail embossing powder to give it shine and added dimension.  One things I like about this technique is that the sharp edges of the paper go away, giving it a molded look almost like icing on a cookie.  I wanted even more dimension to the star but hesitated to use pop up foam out of concern that the points of the star would be bent downward in the mail.  My solution was to cut three more background layers out of Kraft paper and stack them.  The finishing touch is a sparkle in the middle because sparkling is what stars do.

It's a little blurry, but this is the shot that best shows the gold shimmer.  I heat embossed the sentiment and two more stars adding sparkles, of course.  Here is the inside:

Originally I filled the center of the star with a brown marker, but it looked almost black, so I covered it with a bit of  Almond Glitter Glitz to better compliment the soft colors of the card.

There you have it.  One card down, 60+ more to go.  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used:
Paper:  Oh Deer!, White Daisy, Desert Sand, and Cashmere cardstock, Kraft paper, all Close to My Heart
Stamps:  Star of Light by Stampin' Up
Ink:  Sea Glass, Juniper, Twilight from Close to My Heart, Versamark
Embellishments:  White super fine detail embossing powder by Ranger, Gold Shimmer pen, Brown and Blue sparkles and Almond Glitter Glitz from Close to My Heart
Other:  Star of Light thinlets from Stampin' Up

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Halloween Cats Love the Moon

Summer is winding down which means it is time to think about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and *gasp* Christmas.  I made this card using this Freshly Made Sketch:

The cats were cut using a die from Penny Black, coated with Versamark and black embossing powder, and heat embossed three times to give them shine and dimension.  I also embossed the sentiment.  I used a clear shimmer pen on the "moon" to make it sparkle, sponged the edges of the background with Goldrush ink to ground it, and finished the front with some Nuvo Crystal Drops in Bottle Green.  Here is the inside of the card featuring a trimmed, un-embossed version of the cats:

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used:
Paper:  Moonlight with Black, Garden Green, Goldrush, and Creme Blulee cardstock from Close to My Heart
Ink:  Black and Goldrush from Close to My Heart, Versamark
Stamps:  Purr-fect Halloween (retired) and Just to Say from Close to My Heart
Embellishments:  Bottle Green Nuvo Crystal Drops, Black embossing powder from Stampendous
Other:  Cat die by Penny Black

Friday, September 8, 2017

Back to School to Live a Dream

This card is for a young woman I know graduated from Radford University a few years ago with the dream of teaching art or maybe even photography.  Of course thanks to budget cuts and the emphasis on STEM, such positions are few and far between.  She cobbled together part time jobs, some in her field and some not, until last Tuesday she began the school year as a high school photography teacher.  I am so proud of her!

For the background I applied Distress inks directly to acrylic blocks, misted them with water, and pressed them onto smooth watercolor paper.  I left each block on for several minutes to allow the color to absorb and become more vivid.  I used a MISTI to stamp the cameras three times each to get the intense black and embossed the sentiment with black embossing powder on vellum.  The embellishments are Nuvo dots.  To make the mat I used the backside of a metallic paper I bought at Micheal's years ago because it was the most intensly black paper I had.

I plan to enter this card in the Paper Players "Back to School" challenge.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Paper:  watercolor paper from Close to My Heart, vellum and metallic paper from Michael's
Ink:  Wild Honey, Worn Lipstick, and Chipped China Distress Inks by Ranger, Black from Close to My Heart
Stamps:  Retired Close to MY Heart Stamp of the Months from years ago
Embellishemnts:  Caribbean Ocean Nuvo Drops, Black embossing powder by Stampendous