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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Wreath for the Christmas Card Challenge #24

This card is a just under the wire entry into the Christmas Card Challenge #24 to use this photo as inspiration:

I started with a stamp from Tim Holtz's Mini Christmas Doodle set and used masking to stamp the wreath using Gathered Twigs Distress Ink and the sentiment with Vesamark ink so I could heat emboss it in gold.  Next I colored over the wreath with Prismacolor pencils.  I cut it out  using what I think is an old Nestabilities die and inked the edges with Close to My Heart Desert Sand ink.

I made the background using the wrapped watercolor technique in which you apply layers watercolor until the color is fairly saturated and the water puddling on the paper.  You then cover it with crumpled plastic wrap and weigh it down until it dries.  You can see the technique in action in this Jennifer McGuire video.  I trimmed the dry background and inked the edges with Close to My heart's Olive ink  The center strip was cut from Cranberry paper and inked heavily with Tulip to give it and aged look.  The wreath panel was attached using foam tape.

Thank you for stopping by!  Until next time, Hansi

Materials used:
Paper:  Strathmore cold press watercolor paper, Close to My Heart Cranberry and Colonial White cardstock
Ink:  Gathered Twigs Distress Ink by Ranger, Desert Sand, Olive, and Tulip ink by Close to My Heart,  Versamark
Stamp:  Mini Christmas Doodles Tim Holtz Collection by Stampers Anonymous
Other:  Gold Embossing powder,  assorted green Gansai Tambi watercolors by Kuretake, Prismacolor pencils, Nestabilities (I think) die

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