Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Here in the United States, today is Thanksgiving, a day set aside to give thanks for everything that we are grateful about. Me, I am grateful for my fantastic, supportive husband, my family, my dog, and my opportunities with the Dreamweaver Design Team. It seems appropriate that the challenge this week is to create a Thanksgiving card. This is mine:

This card uses three different stencil techniques: metals through the machine, paste, and a foiled version of the double glitter technique. I finished this a little too late to take a decent photo, so I had to scan it. Sadly, there was a little color shifting. I wish that you can see how really pretty the shiny foil, glitter, metallic paste and metals are. Anyway, the metal in the background is all a light gold in color. I used the Herringbone Stencil LJ 819 through the Cuttlebug with a rubber mat. It was quite simple. Then, I used the Gold Metallic Embossing paste with the Happy Thanksgiving LM 251 on dark brown cardstock. I trimmed around it and seperated the words. The leaves were LG 728 Blowing Leaves. I soaped up the back of the stencil and attached it to Double Sided Adhesive Paper. I then pressed into the stencil leaves with foil in fall colors--red, gold, orange, copper, and brown. The small end of a dry embossing stylus helped me get into some of the smaller areas. I used the fine brown glitter over everything to create the swirls and the brown edges of the leaves. Then, I brushed off all of the excess with a large stencil brush. I flipped the whole thing over and peeled up the edge of the adhesive paper. I "walked" my hands along the back, being careful not to damage the stencil. After it was off the background, I covered the entire thing in Crystal Glitter by the Art Institute. When that was done, I assembled the card.

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I also hope that you are inspired to make a little something of your own. Link it to the Dreamweaver Blog. ALSO, if you enjoy creating with the Dreamweaver Stencils, you should try out for the newest design team. You will get lots of free products and stencils in exchange for samples. My time with the team has been just fantasic! Here is the information. In the meantime, check out the blogs from the rest of the team. Get inspired!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dreamweaver Sketch Week

Here is this week's sketch, courtesy of the fantastic Wendy Jordan. Sorry Wendy, but I really changed it up a little this time. I turned it on its end--literally! I eliminated the embellishments on the bottom--uh, side.

Once I had it all sorted out, I used a few different techniques and stencils. First off, on the background I used stencil LJ 914 Herringbone with a textured carstock. I ran it through my Cuttlebug. Then, I sanded it to add depth of color.

For the snowflake strip, I used a technique that was fairly new to me. I sprayed Meomory Mists in Stormy Sky, Blueberry Milkshake and Blue Lagoon directly on the Snowflake Background Stencil LJ 819. I left it blotchy, because I liked the look. I then layed it on some paper towels and ran it through my Cuttlebug. I decorated the snowflakes a little with Diamond Stickles.

The single snowflake layer was created with the Antler Snowflake Stencil LL 399 and, yes, metals. This time I used the dark blue aluminum. I embossed it, filled it and sanded it.

The last technique I used was embossing with regular paste and the Ice Skates Stencil LL 3016. When it was dry, I used a Versamarker and added silver embossing powder to the blades and the eyelets. I then enhanced these with Sitckles as well.

That was it. One thing that I have discovered on this team is that it is often the projects that I struggle with that are the ones I like the best when they are done. I wasn't excited about this sketch, but once I actually started it, I really enjoyed it. It sort of reminds me of a scrapbook page. Ultimately, it is the challenges that I enjoy most about the team.

Do you think that you would like to rise to the challenges of being on a Design Team? If you give it a try, you won"t regret it. Check out the link on the Dreamweaver Blog and give yourself the chance to be inspired all year long. Try out the other Dreamweaver links for some great ideas. I'll see you next week...........

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dreamweaver Free Week--An Upcoming Class

It's free week again. I hope that you are not all tired of seeing the metal projects that I have been making. I can't help it--I am addicted. This week, I am bringing you four cards. They are the ones that I will be teaching in my upcoming Dreamweaver Stencils and Metals Class. I am actually teaching specifically metals at two different stores--The Stamp Peddler in Northville, MI and My Craft Room in Troy, MI. These are from the first of the two classes, the Stamp Peddler class. I am teaching this one on Thursday, November 17th. These cards are very different than the ones from My Craft Room, which I will post at my next available time. Anyway, the top card that I featured (the skates card) was created with black coated aluminum and a Mercart metal tool kit. It was made with the LL 3016, Ice Skates stencil. After I pushed the metal through the stencil with the Mercart Teflon Tool and filled it with the Mercart Filling paste, I sanded it to bring out the details. The background is Core'dinations Cardstock that has been run through my Cuttlebug with the Snowflakes Background Stencil LJ 819.I then sanded it to show the snowflakes.
The candy cane card was also made with the Mercart Teflon Tool. I used red coated aluminum and debossed it into the LL 555 Candy Cane Stencil. I was very careful about this. I then sanded it to show the silver aluminum in the background.

The poinsettia card was made by machine embossing plain silver aluminum through my Revolution Machine with the Large Poinsettia Stencil LG 700. I then enhanced the embossing just a little with my teflon tool. I used alcohol inks generously over the metal with the stencil still in place. I then removed the stencil, cleaned it up a little, and added some green alcohol ink to the background.

The last card was made with the Season's Greetings LS stencil and the discontinued Mistletoe Stencil. Both were embossed using the Revolution. After removing the stencils, they were colored using alcohol inks. When the inks were dry (which took almost no time), they were sanded to bring out the embossing. How could you get a hold of one of these Mistletoe Stencils?

You could ask your LSS if they could order it for you--OR you could take my class if you live in Michigan. I will be giving this Mistletoe Stencil out for free at any of my stencil classes this November or December. Look me up and take a class. I would love to see you. Meanwhile, you should check out all of the other Dream Team members posts. Get inspired and try out for yourself. It has been a wonderful experience, which I highly recommend.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Black and White Challenge (Almost)

This week's Dreamweaver challenge is black and white. I followed it...well, sort of. See, this Teresa Collins paper goes perfectly with one of my absolute favorite stencils, LL 3005 Holly and Swirls. Sadly, the paper is not EXACTLY just black and white. It is sort of ivory, black, and white with some red berries thrown in. I hope my Dream Team members will forgive me.
This particular card is also very much like one of the cards that I will be teaching at Capture A Memory in Flint on November 27th. In this case, I used that gorgeous Holly and Swirls stencil with black coated aluminum. First, I placed the stencil upside down on a hard acrylic block. (It didn't have to be an acrylic block, just something hard and smooth and my old kitchen table no longer qualifies.) I then laid the aluminum face down on top of the stencil. I lightly rubbed over the back of the aluminum with a large blending stump (an inexpensive paper art supply). This showed the edges of the stencil beneath. I then pulled out my metal tools. All of the tools I used, with the exception of one (which I will name specifically) are from the Mercart Basic Tool Kit. The first one I used was the Teflon tipped outliner. I rubbed the back of the metal with it around all the edges of the stencil. I removed the stencil and then put the metal face down on a piece of suede. I used the very small ball tipped tool in all of the "vine" areas. I then used the "ball" side of the ball and cup tool to push out the berries and the leaves. As you can see, I tried to create a lined look on the leaves. I accomplished this by pushing the metal out from the leaf tips to the center, stopping right in the middle. After I got all the way around the leaf, I had a veined look. I flipped the metal over again, placed it on the acrylic block, and used the "deer foot" side of the teflon tools to refine and flatten the background areas. When I was satisfied with the look, I put Mercart Filling past into the raised areas and let it dry. Once it was dry, I got the suede out again and placed the metals face up on top. I then used the "tile roller" tie all around the edges. This tool is not included in the Mercart basic kit. I used the smaller wheel, which is included in the kit, to make the edges stand out more. I then took a sanding block to the whole thing. I sanded through the black coating on the top of the raised bits. I attached everything together, and was finished! I really liked the look. If you are in my area, you can create something like this at Capture a Memory, so take a look at their classes.
Something EVERYONE should look at is the Dreamweaver Design Team call. The requirements are on the Dreamweaver Stencils blog. I have had such a fantastic experience on this team! I highly recommend you check out everyone's sites, get inspired, and audition for this team. You won't regret it.