Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Dream Schemes--Love in the New Year

Our challenge this week was "Love in the New Year". I just adore so many of the love themed stencils that it was hard to choose. I finally decided to let the paper guide my decision--a Bo Bunny print that was pink, red and ivory. The red swirls in the paper reminded me of the swirly heart stencil LL 3010, so I pasted this with red glossy paste on ivory cardstock.

Then, I needed a sentiment. I chose LM 276, which is a larger stencil. I liked this design, with its cute little hearts imbedded into the capital letters, but I still wanted the beautiful swirled heart to be the focal point. This posed a problem because of the relative sizes of each of the stencils, therefore it was--Shrink Plastic to the Rescue! I roughed up the white shrink plastic and then stencilled it with Red Pepper Adirondack Pigment Ink. For Kate, who asked previously (I just read it today, sorry) about how I know where to cut the shrink plastic, most of them are easy to find the edges of once stencilled. This one, I stencilled the red right over the edge of the stencil and then "eyeballed" the border size as I cut it. My Big Bite set in the largest hole setting created the holes that I would use to affix the plastic. I shrunk it with my embossing heat tool. It turned a slight ivory, which fit my color scheme perfectly.
This card was cut to about 3 1/2" by 5 1/2" and is folded at the top and distressed on the edges with Antique Linen Distress inks. I cut around the pattern on the pink paper and adhered it to the base. (It was raising up when I took the picture--sorry for the shadow.)
I attached the shrink plastic to the heart with both Glue Dots and small pink seed beads. I then used the beads to embellish around the heart. I put the whole heart on foam tape when I attached it.
I wasn't sure about this card when I started, but the color scheme really grew on me. With the beading, which I realize is difficult to see in the photos, and the almost lacey looking edge, the whole thing took on a sweet, old fashioned look that I quite like now.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Dream Schemes--Free Challenge

This week, we have a free challenge week. I chose to do one last Christmas card (seeing as Christmas Eve is tomorrow). This time, I decided to eschew my glitter-loving ways and do something a little more vintage. I used metals and alcohol inks.

First, let me clarify one thing--the glittery silver around the edges is not actually part of the card, but my Christmas tablecloth. Additionally, the black border around the images is burgundy velvet paper. It is beautiful to use, but horrible to photograph. The brown color is Creative Imaginations Real Wood paper in cherry.

So, the steps? Well, first I distressed the beautiful

Basic Grey paper and the Real Wood with Walnut Stain Distress Inks. Then, I ran two fantastic Dreamweaver Stencils, LL 430 Buck and LS 92 Merry Christmas through my Revolution Die Cut Machine. I used the Quickutz Metal Sheets and a rubber mat to make the impression.

I used alcohol inks over the whole impression, making sure that I rotated the blending tool between each pat. I let it dry for just a moment, and added a second coat.

Then, I lightly sanded the whole thing. The sanding removed the inks on the embossed portion only. It also scruffed a little on the background. The lovely, vintage look probably could have been enhanced even more if I would have taken the sanding block to the edges as well, but perhaps that is a project for another day.

The rest was simple assembly and adding a couple of brads. As it was, I liked this project when I was finished. It looked like a "masculine" Christmas card. I made a second one to give to my father for Christmas and will probably use similar techniques on other cards. Come back again next week, when the theme will be "Love in the New Year". I am not sure what I will be making yet, but I promise--no more Christmas cards. (Although this card could have just as easily been an all occasion or birthday card.)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thursday Dream Schemes--Blue Paste Challenge

This week's Dream Team Challenge is Blue Paste. This card is my crazy acetate fueled glittery take on the winter snow. Ironically, Michigan was experiencing a snowstorm as I assembled and photographed it.

I just loved using this blue paste. Don't get me wrong, the black paste is fantastic for use with Metallic FX powders, but the blue paste is deep without being too dark for the transparent Art Glitter.

This entire project was done with Glossy Blue Dreamweaver Paste and transparent Art Institute Glitter in three colors--Polar Bear (white), Blue Boy (light blue) and I think French Lilac (purple). The stencils I used were Let it Snow LG 717, Snowflake LL399 and Small Snowflake LS 26. That was it. Add white and blue cardstock, white glitter paper, acetate and you have one very large finished card (it is about 6x7). Everything was done by pasting with blue paste and covering it with glitter while it was still wet. The Let it Snow stencil was on the white paper, but everything else was pasted on the acetate. Then, I rough cut around the snowflakes, stacked it all and assembled.

There was alot of pasting, but the technique was super simple. I have set the card out on my table for the past few days and I just LOVE the way it seems to change color with the light. Sometimes it looks purple, sometimes a little greenish and other times blue, as it appears here. Can you believe there was only ONE color of paste? The Art Glitter does all the work to change the color.

I would like to mention that the initial spark for this one came from fellow Dream Teamer, Kristi Van Doren, of Kristi's Creative Cafe. Kristi (whom I have never met in person) inspires me with her tight color schemes and use of both snowflakes and GLITTER. I hope to inspire her someday, too.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dream Team Schemes

This week for the Dream Team Scheme, we get to post a free choice. This one is that second one that I made for the "Non Traditional Christmas Colors" challenge. A special shout out goes to my aunt (who is only 4 years older than me) who absolutely LOVES purple. Indeed, I chose a purple and white theme because of her and this will probably be her Christmas card.

The images, Christmas LL3009 and Holly Swirls LG 731 (two of my absolute favorites) are pasted on acetate. The swirl is made with the pearlescent paste and the Christmas with the silver. The Christmas is then placed directly onto a beautiful paper from Reminisce (last year's Christmas line) with all sorts of white glitter patterns on a white background.

On the other hand, the holly had a little more to it. Working on the back with Art Glitter Dries Clear and the fine point tip, I echoed the gorgeous curves in the stencil. I enhanced them with a deep purple Art Institute Glitter. I then waited until it set up a little before making another echo with the glue and putting a medium purple Art Glitter on. After that set, I filled in the blanks with a light purple Art Glitter. When I mentioned I let it set up a little, I don't mean that I actually let it completely dry. I just didn't want the glue to migrate at all, so just a few minutes betweeen layers. Finally, I let it dry overnight. Then I set it on top with a couple of Glue Dots and added a ribbon. The actual colors of the purple are a reddish lilac. This detail shot is close to the right color.

The two lightest purples are transparent glitters, which allow the glitter on the paper to sparkle through. I only wish that the photos did it justice. The whole thing just sparkles in any light. Of course, different light shows the purples off differently, as you can see by this outdoor shot.

I hope you enjoyed this one, as I really loved making it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday Dream Schemes

This week, the Dreamweaver Team was challenged to use a sketch. Upon seeing it, I immediately thought about that ribbon and the three bows. Truth be told, I actually became a little obsessed with the idea of attaching charms in three spots on that ribbon. I decided to use shrink plastic to make the Dreamweaver Stencils the appropriate size. Then, the idea hit me--I could use the Candy Cane stencil LL 555 to make cute little canes to hang from the ribbon. I would use a small Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays for the sentiment. I also downloaded some cute Silhouette designs for the flourishy parts around the edges.

Well, you know what they say about "the best laid plans". The candy canes were too long and narrow to shrink well. I had to try it several times before I realized that they would just curl up and stay that way. Still obsessed with the plan, I switched to Valentine's Day. These shrunken patterns were really cute (expect to see them soon). I guess I just wasn't in the Valentine's mood during the first week of December, because I couldn't finish it. I switched again--this time to the small ornament stencils LM 297 and LS 98. I used pigment ink to stencil them on white shrink plastic and heated it with my heat gun. This was a bit scary at first, because they would blow around the table. Once I realized that I could gently hold them down with a wooden skewer as they heated, it all turned out fine. I am actually thinking about using this technique to make cute charms for Christmas earrings.
The charms looked a little too small for the original three bow vertical design, so I opted to switch the design to horizontal and add two more charms. Then, I took a good look and decided that I wanted the sentiment to be a larger focal point, so I switched the stencil to a larger, more graphic version of the Happy Holiday sentiment.

Next, I used the Double Sided Adhesive Paper behind the Happy Holidays stencil LM 249 to create the sentiment. Just a little soap on the back of the stencil before I adhered it to the paper, and I was assured that it would come off without bending. I have used this technique several times, but have recently discovered a new secret--the Microfine Glitter by the Art Institute Glitter Company. It goes right into every little crevice in the stencil and really enhances all the detail. Then, I used the Art Institute Ultrafine Transparent White Glitter (my favorite--Polar Bear) for the background.

The background papers were the Reminisce Christmas Collection from last year. Very glittery and shiny. So, that left me with the question of the flourish. With all the glitter, the charms and the larger sentiment, I really didn't think I needed the flourishes. They would have probably been a little too much, so I deleted them.

Unfortunately, it is snowing and dark here in Michigan again, so photographing it was a little difficult. This card is SO sparkly, that this picture does not do it justice. Here is another. It is also not great, but if you can imagine the above colors with the below shine, well, that is what it really looks like. The charms look askew, but they are actually free to swing.