Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Dream Schemes Free Week--Welcome Spring

Ah, yes. So much for wishful thinking! I woke up to discover that April is right around the corner, but the high temps in Michigan are still in the forties. In honor of the impending spring, despite the weather, I am posting an Easter card from my next card class.

In person, this card is ridiculously sparkly and has a beautiful color changing shimmer. Of course, it was made with fantastic Microfine Art Institute Glitter. I used one of my favorite techniques (just ask anyone who saw me demonstrate at CHA, or followed the trail of glitter back to my hotel) the "Double Glitter Technique".

First, you need to "soap" the back of the stencil. I used the LJ 907 Damask stencil. Put your soaped stencil on Double Sided Adhesive paper. On this project, I used paper that had been cut into the Egg shape with the help of the LG 670 egg stencil.

Then, glitter the project. I used the Microfine glitter made by the Art Glitter people because it is not only gorgeous, but one of the few glitters that can get into all the fine details on this damask stencil. Because it is so light weight, it actually needs to be burnished, or rubbed in with your fingers. Make sure you get all the little spots.

Once you are confident that you got all the little spots rubbed in, take a large, soft brush to the whole thing and brush off the excess. Then, brush it again. Put your project stencil side down on a hard, flat surface and peel off the double sided adhesive paper very carefully. You don't want to bend the stencil as you remove it.

Finally, pour glitter over the top of your adhesive paper. Since I used the Microfine glitter, I was careful to burnish it in very well. I really had alot of fun with this, and the shimmer of the egg changes color depending on how you hold it to the light. Such glittery fantasticness!

These are the extra ones that I made. After I finished the bunny, it faded into a couple of these different choices, which is how I wound up with the blue on blue. You can see, however, that it was a tough choice. Take a good look at the top of the bottom egg (I hope that makes sense). Do you see that blue blob? THAT is what happens when you don't brush the first color off well (hence the suggestion to brush it twice).

Anyway, the bunny was made with the very same technique. I prepared the stencil, placed it on the adhesive paper, and filled the eyes and nose with black glitter. A little brushed off onto the back and ears, but I really liked it that way because it added to the shading. I then used flock instead of glitter to make the pink inside the ears and the tan shading. I followed this with all white flock. The secret behind fun flock is to make sure that you use alot of it and press it down very well. Also, you have to brush and brush again to remove the excess before you peel off the adhesive. I mounted him on a little lightweight chipboard (the packaging of a punch) before I put him on the egg.

The shape of the card is actually the egg. I folded a piece of white cardstock and then used the stencil to trace and cut it out on the fold. (The white sliver on the back of the picture is the back of the card.)

Well, that's it. If you are in the area and would like to have a hands on with this card in my class, give Scrap Tales a call to sign up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dream Scheme Sketch Week

This is the sketch challenge for this week. For once, I actually followed the sketch exactly. This is my very simple card. Unlike many other cards I have made, this one has already been used. I made it for my niece's Confirmation.

It was so, so simple. When I saw this sketch, I immediately thought of how the oval would be a great shape for this cross, being that the proportions would fit perfectly. The colors were dictated by the Confirmation paper that I found at Scrap Tales. Both pieces were part of the same collection. I probably would not have chosen these colors if it weren't for the paper, but once I found it, the color choices were obvious. (Just like when those design shows on TV say to pick an "inspiration piece".) Although I tried this with MetallicFX, the beautiful metallic colors just didn't fit. The only good choice was glossy white. So, there it is, a plain glossy white pasting.

The other nice thing about this sketch was that I was able to easily create a "money envelope" on the inside. All I had to do was cut a piece of cardstock that was slightly smaller than the orange outer rectangle, and adhere it on three sides. I also echoed the rectangle shape to create the spot for a sentiment. I used the decorative ribbon on the front as a closure device for the whole card to create a little more security.

Simple, simple, simple. Anyone could do it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day--Free Dream Scheme Week

I have recently learned to love St. Patrick's Day. Oh, I always loved the green and the shamrocks, but have recently been enjoying the celebrations with the help of my friend and neighbor, Amy. We have a three year tradition of going to the Irish pub around the corner. We eat, drink, sing and have a fantastic time with our husbands and friends.

Anyway, in celebration of this fun holiday, I am using the free week to show a St. Pat's card.

This is the card that I used for a tutorial for Scrap Tales. The actual card is hanging at the store. I made another one (slightly different) for Lynell's blog this week. Its twin is also hanging up at Scrap Tales.

So, here is the tutorial:

SUPPLY LIST: Black Cardstock, Shamrock Paper, Dreamweaver stencil LS 58, Dreamweaver stencil LM 283, Alcohol inks in green, pearl, Alcohol Blending tool, Alcohol Blending Solution, Tan Spellbinders mat, Die cut machine, embossing mat

1) Emboss stencils through the die cut machine using metal and the tan Spellbinders mat. I used the shamrock three times and celebrate once
2) Use your blending tool with felt and alcohol inks to color all of the metal pieces. I used Meadow, Pesto, and Pearl Mixative
3) Sand the back of the Shamrocks. You can use a nail file block to get into the small crevices. It is better to go over the edges of the shamrock than to not sand enough.
4) Replace the stencil onto the shamrocks and hit with the alcohol inks again. It is better to have the ink felt a little dry. Do not get too damp.
5) Remove stencil and let dry. Touch up the sanding if needed
6) Sand Celebrate lightly to reveal word and leave green on background.
7) Make black card 5 ½ inches high, 4 ¾ inches wide
8) Cut shamrock paper 5 ¼ inches by 3 inches
9) Remove backing on celebrate and stick with a slight black border to left hand side
10) Attach paper with slight black border to right hand side
11) Cut shamrock metals close to design and create small black mats for each approx. 2 inches by 1 ¾ inches for mats.
12) Lay mats and metals on cards to see how you like the placement. I chose off kilter.
13) Attach metal to mats and all to card
14) Trim top and bottom of card.
15) Clean shamrock stencil with Alcohol Blending Solution

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Check out the other DT posts. Also, check out my plaid one at and HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday Dream Schemes--Color Challenge, Brown, Blue and Cream

This week's color challenge was blue, brown and cream.

I am working on a spring Dreamweaver Class for Scraptales, and one thing I have wanted to do for awhile was use this bare branch stencil LJ 900, that came out for Christmas, as a spring card. Ever since I initially saw this stencil, I thought of how versatile it was. With just a few flowers, it would be a different look. With a brown branch, blue sky, and cream blossoms, it would fit the color challenge well.
I used the regular white embossing paste on My
Mind's Eye paper from the Sophie collection. I know that this paper seems a little busy for a stencilling background, but to me it seemed quite appropriate. Not only were the colors perfect for the challenge, but when you think about branches in nature, you almost never see them with a simple sky background. They are usually viewed with other branches behind them.
At this point, you can barely see the main branch.
When the paste was dry, I replaced the stencil and pulled out my Versamarker. It is a clear watermark and embossing fluid in a marker form. I ran it over the branch parts that I wanted brown. I then removed the stencil, poured Chocolate Zing Embossing Powder over the top. It, of course, stuck only to the areas where I used the marker. I heat set the powder. I repeated the process with the word Spring on cream cardstock. Then, I echo cut the word and mounted it on dark blue. I cut around it again.

The flowers were punched out of two colors of cream cardstock with two different punches. I glued the smaller flowers on some of the "berries" of the original branch. I then stitched the larger flowers on the remainder. Each got only one stitch through the center, and I attached a seed bead to hold it in place. I was amazed at how well the needle slid through the white paste.

I felt that the card needed a little bit of color, so I used Egyptian Gold Luminarte Twinkling H2Os and brushed a little on each of the flowers. I popped the word up on foam, mounted the card on cardstock and the flip side of the paper, and then bent the flower petals up to add a three dimensional effect.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thursday Dream Schemes--The England Cards

For those who don't know, I had the wonderful opportunity to represent Dreamweaver Stencils at the Stitches Show in the United Kingdom. (Think CHA of the United Kingdom). I had an absolutely fantastic time demonstrating to the retailers across the Atlantic. I showed several different techniques, and used the products of those demonstrations to create some cards for Woodware, the United Kingdom distributor. Three of the cards that I made wound up with the British version of QVC. I will never see them, and no one will hear my name, but it was thrilling nonetheless. Five others were just left with the wonderful Woodware women, and I never got photos of those. These five were finished just a little later, and I was able to take these (not fantastic) photos of them on my bed before I mailed them off on my last day. You will notice my souvenir scarf laying behind them. Now, I had random items with me, so go easy on me this week. (In fact, I would have more, but my cuticle scissors gave up on me.)

A version of this bird card was one of my make and takes during the show. It was created with the Woodware Microfine Glitter (I liked it so much that I "pinched" the remainder when I left), and Stampendous Fun Flock. First, I soaped the back of the birds on a branch stencil (to allow it to be easily removed). Then, I attached the stencil to the double sided adhesive paper, soap side down. I used a Big Shot to dry emboss the birds on a branch stencil, and then loosely cut out the birds. This way, I created a mask, to individually color the birds. I covered the stencil with the mask, lining up the birds. I put glitter into each of the holes seperately, pushing the glitter onto the adhesive backed paper. I also pushed glitter into the saying. I brushed the excess glitter off. Then, I removed the mask. I put alot of flocking on the branched and pressed it in HARD with my finger. It is the only way to make your flocking feel plush. Then, I rubbed and brushed the excess off completely. I removed the stencils, and flooded the remaining area with white glitter and added a ribbon.

The rest all used this same "double glitter" technique. Some used additional techniques. The Thistle, for example, used flock and glitter in the blue (I didn't have purple) thistle flower. The glitter is shaded because I used two different colors. Both the Thistle and the Blue Knot also use the "plaid maker"--which is the stripe stencil held one way and stencilled, then turned and stencilled at 90 degrees. The knot also had a machine embossed raindrop background.

This owl card has a double glitter raindrop pattern, but also includes a simple machine emobssing on the owl. It was embossed with a slightly thicker copper. Then, I just sanded lightly over the top to add to the dimension.

So, those were my quickly assembled "demonstration" cards.

Did I have fun in England? ABSOLUTELY! I am including a few photos here.

The picture on the left is Windsor Castle. This is the largest currently inhabited castle in the world. I was able to tour around, but not go into the state rooms, as the Queen actually followed me there. The other picture is me at the St. George's Chapel on the castle grounds. This "chapel" is larger than almost any church I have seen in the U.S. It was fantastic. It survived a shelling in World War II, and still has the hole to prove it!

You should recognize the photo on the left. The right is the front gates of Buckingham palace. It is the crest of the royal family. Below, there is a picture of Westminster Abbey side entrance and a crocus that was beginning to bloom in the gardens by Buckingham Palace.

The next picture is of the White Tower in the Tower of London. The Tower has an intriguing history, and this building is the oldest, from 1024.
This is Trafalgar Square, as seen from the front steps of the National Gallery.

I will finish with my favorite new dinner finisher--Sticky Toffee Pudding. It is like a chocolate sponge cake infused with toffee, served with vanilla ice cream and a little chocolatey/toffee sauce. So delicious, and COMPLETELY WORTH all the calories. Yum! I only wish I could get it here......