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.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Best Laid Plans...

My husband is into astronomy, so when I saw the Stargazing stamp set in Stampin' Up's new catalog I knew it was the perfect set for a Father's Day card for him from me.  To paraphrase Robert Burns, the best laid plans of mice and men...

I ordered the set the morning of June 4th as soon as the catalog went live.  It shipped on June 6th.  On June 8th UPS turned it over to the Postal Service in Sandston, Virginia, the hub for Central Virginia, for an estimated delivery date of June 11th.  Plenty of time to make a card, right?  It was not delivered on the 11th, or the 12th, or the 13th.  That evening the UPS tracker revealed it to be in Myrtle Beach which, if you are not familiar with beaches on the east coast, is two states away in South Carolina!  Maybe it wanted a vacation after the long trip from Utah.  My order finally arrived the day after Father's Day and this weekend I had a chance to play with it.

The original plan was to stamp the nebula/galaxy in dark ink over a watercolored base to let stars show through in pastel colors, use the star cluster stamp to emboss a few stars in white over top, and finish it with that perfect sentiment.  I began by watercoloring on the smooth side of Ranger watercolor paper.  Now watercolor is an exercise of letting go as the water will move color where it wants to and changes it as it dries.  This is what I ended up with.  I apologize that I did not think to photograph it before I started trimming cutting it up.

I was working with this Freshly Made Sketch and thought the darker bleeding purple parts would make a good stripe.

I wanted to cover the whole center panel with the galaxy stamp which meant I would have to make multiple images and blend them.  Plus, I did not really want to have that center section of the stamp be so light.  After practicing on cardstock I decided the best bet would be to pounce ink on using a small thin Life Changing brush.  I used the same technique to color narrow strips of the watercolored paper.  Next I tested the star cluster stamp with Gina K fine detail white embossing powder on my galaxy test piece.  I am glad I did because no matter how fine a powder you use, Stampin' Up's DistINKtive stamps do not translate well with embossing.  Next I sprayed on some Perfect Pearls mixed with water to make the galaxy shimmer.  Note to self:  watercolor paper is not cardstock!  Although the spray worked well on my test piece, it did cause some running of the Night of Navy ink on the watercolor paper, softening the stars.  Then again, if you have ever looked though a high powered telescope on a hot, humid night there is some softening of the image, even when there is no condensation on the lens.

I heat embossed the sentiment on paper from DCWV's Weathered paper stack, cut it out with a thin die, pressed the edges into the Night of Navy ink pad, and attached it with foam tape.  A few sparkles finished the card off.  Whew!  I am also entering this card in the Watercooler Wednesday Challenge to make a masculine card and the Happy Little Stampers watercolor challenge.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Monday, June 17, 2019

Father's Day Cats 2019

This Father's Day card from our two and four legged daughters is based on this Freshly Made Sketch:

I started with a 4.25 x 5.5 inch piece of white cardstock and applied Candied Apple, Ripe Crimson, and Dried Marigold Distress Oxide inks, blending until I was happy with the result.  While I had the ink out I covered a small piece with Candied Apple, so I could have matching sentiment strips.  I cut the large cat using Close to My Heart's Artistry Cricut cartridge, the medium cat using a die from Spellbinder's Kitty Cats die set, and the little cats using Impression Obsession's Cat Set.  Then I heat embossed them with three coats of clear detail powder.  The sentiment was stamped with an old Close to My Heart set, Say It in Style using Black Versafine ink, heat embossed with clear detail powder and attached with foam tape.  The finishing touches were cut from Stampin' Up's Grapefruit Grove foil paper which has a hologram effect to it.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A Kitty Birthday Card for Daddy

This is a birthday card for my daughters, two legged and four, to give to their Daddy AKA Soft Touch.  Here is the inside:

The cats, fish, and yarn were cut from and old Spellbinders set.  The sentiment on the front is from Simon Says Stamp and the one on the inside from Kat Scrappiness.  I can't believe I made a card with no stamping or ink of any kind!  I started this card for the Cut It Up Birthday Challenge and I guess you can say I took the die cut part to heart.  I also plan to enter this in The Seize the Birthday and Happy Little Stampers Anything with a Die challenge.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Monday, June 10, 2019

Wrapped Watercolor Snowflakes

It seems odd to be making Christmas cards while thankful for air conditioning, but making a few throughout the year is the only way I can manage to have enough ready at Christmas.  Having the time to sign, address and mail them in December is another matter, but I digress.  One of my inspirations to make Christmas cards in the off season is to play Christmas challenges such as the Christmas at Sweet Stampin's  challenge which this month is to use snowflakes.  I am combining this theme with Stamping Sensations' challenge to "show your true colors" with bright, bold, beautiful colors and Happy Little Stampers watercolor challenge.  Now bright and bold is not what I usually think of when using watercolors, but I tried a technique Jennifer McGuire calls wrapped watercolor where you use watercolors to paint a wet, heavy layer of color onto watercolor paper, cover it with wadded up plastic wrap, weigh it down (I used a cutting board with my skillet on top), and wait patiently for it to dry naturally.  It took mine overnight.  Let's just say this is not a technique to use if you need a card in a hurry.  You can see the technique in action by clicking on the link above.

Once my card was completely dry, I sponged Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink around the edges and used Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz Swirly Snowflakes and Mini Swirly Snowflakes stamps to heat emboss snowflakes in white.  The Merry Christmas sentiment comes from an old Close to My Heart set.  I used Navy Blue Nuvo Crystal Drops in the centers of the snowflakes and attached the panel to a white card base with craft foam for dimension.

Another card ready for Christmas!  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Monday, June 3, 2019

Peek-a-boo Gull

If CAS means lots of white space and minimal embellishments, this card would qualify, but I am not sure I can say simple because lining up the die to cut the window in the right place was fun and games.  I started with this Freshly Made Sketch:

I knew I wanted to make a summer themed card for the Paper Players Challenge, and I had just discovered the Daring Cardmakers intriguing challenge to create a secret hideaway for an element of your card.  I found myself thinking what if I made the circle on the sketch a window which only showed a hint of what was inside.  Some of y'all may know that I grew up where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean and have a thing for lighthouses, so this is what you see when you open the card.  

First I stamped the inside using Antique Linen Distress Oxide ink and Close to My Heart's Perfect Day and Seaside Greetings stamp sets.  Then I cut a window and stamped the front.  After coloring with Prismacolor pencils, I stamped the sentiment from Altenew's Quilted Elegance in Black Soot Distress Oxide Ink.  Then as I wrote the above sentence and looked at the sketch again I realized I had not noticed that it includes an element along the left edge, so I stamped the edge with Stampin' Up's Wood Background stamp and re-shot the photo.  Can I get this posted and linked in time?

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Friday, May 31, 2019

A Masculine Birthday Card

I don't know about y'all, but I always struggle with masculine cards.  Given that I do have males who happen to have birthdays in my life, I have to challenge myself each time I need one, so why not look to some of the challenge blogs for inspiration and motivation?  The Papercraft Challenge theme of "For Men and Boys" provided the motivation while Sunday Stamps provided inspiration with this photo and the challenge to use at least three of the colors to create a card.

The drawing in the book reminded me of Simon Says Stamp's Ornate Backgrounds stamp, so I stamped it on Desert Storm paper and embossed it with white powder.  I used ZIG Clean Color Real Brush markers to color the image, layering a medium gray and green to make that color to the far right which sometimes looks dark gray and sometimes muted dark green to me.  For the sentiment I combined the word happy from Simon Says Stamp's Stained Glass Love set with "birthday to you" from Birchpress Designs' Make a Statement set.  After trimming everything down I decided I wanted a thin border around it before putting it on the card base but didn't have colored cardstock to match the dark muted green, so I cut another piece of Desert Storm cardstock and colored around the edges in the same gray and green I used on the stamp.  Perfect match!  Then all I had to do was attach it to the card base popped up with craft foam and glue on few white Nuvo Drops.  Because it takes Nuvo Drops so long to harden, I drop a lot of drops in different sizes on a silicon mat, let them dry for a few days and then put them in small jars to use later.

I am also going to enter this into the Seize the Birthday challenge which is always anything goes with an optional topping which I will forgo as this week it is "presents."  By the way, although the Sunday Stamps challenge ends at 6:00 p.m. EDT, there is plenty of time to enter the other two if you are inspired to do so.  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Monday, April 8, 2019

Ink Swiping

A few weeks ago I saw this tutorial by May May Made It about swiping layers of ink over dry embossing.  Now I have inked embossing folders and used sponge daubers to selectively apply color to parts of the design, but this looked so free and unpredictable!  I looked through my embossing folders for ones I thought might be interesting  for this technique, embossed a stack of card fronts and swiped away to make some backgrounds which I put aside because life got in the way of card making.  Don't you hate it when that happens?  Then I saw this Freshly Made Sketch:

Instead of using that center panel to stamp and color, why not make the wide frame the most interesting part?  In other words, it was the perfect sketch to use one of my ink swiped, embossed card fronts!  The embossing folder is Swirls and Curls from Stampin' Up.  I am not sure what colors of ink are in this one because I used so many that day, but I do know that I sponged some Hickory Smoke Distress Oxide ink around the edges to ground it.  I used the Happy Large Word Die by Whimsy Stamps to cut three in white and one in Fresh Fig and then stacked them to give some dimension.  The sentiment strip was stamped using the Well Said set also from Stampin Up, embossed with white detail powder from Gina K Design and popped up with foam tape.  

Ink swiping was so much fun I can assure you that you will see more of it in the future.  Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi.